Indian Affairs | Who We Are

Who We Are

Indian Affairs (IA) is the oldest bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. Established in 1824, IA currently provides services (directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts) to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. There are 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives in the United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for the administration and management of 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates held in trust by the United States for American Indian, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) provides education services to approximately 42,000 Indian students. BIA and BIE’s missions are:

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) mission is to:
"… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives."

The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) mission is to:
"… provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with the tribes’ needs to cultural and economic well being in keeping with the wide diversity of Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages as distinct cultural and governmental entities. The Bureau considers the whole person (spiritual, mental, physical and cultural aspects.)"

Our Organizational Structure:

Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs (AS-IA)

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)