The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) first developed the Tribal Leaders Directory as an internal reference document for its employees. It quickly became one of Indian Affairs' most requested documents, and is now used by federal, state and local governments, news media, businesses, researchers, and the general public as a resource to help them connect with Indian Country. The BIA's commitment to enhanced communication led to transforming this publication into an electronic format.


The Tribal Leaders Directory is available for download in a variety of data formats. Developers may use the JSON or XML APIs hosted on or download them as a file to include in their own projects. Indian Affairs offers this service to the public for free as part of the open data initiative.

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a standard text-based format for representing structured data based on JavaScript object syntax. It is commonly used for transmitting data in web applications, such as the Tribal Leaders Directory.

Extensible Markup Language (XML)

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. The design goals of XML emphasize simplicity, generality, and usability across the Internet.

Polygon Data for Maps (GeoJSON)

The 12 BIA regional outlines are available for use in mapping software or applications. Please note that the boundaries are intended as a quick visual representation or clickable area on a map. The GeoJSON file uses as few data points as possible to prioritize faster loading times over exact boundary lines - see the disclaimer below for more information. For detailed maps of the regions or Tribal lands, visit the Branch of Geospatial Support.

Comma-Separated Values (CSV)

If you are looking for a spreadsheet version of the Directory, you will need a CSV dataset.


It's important to note that the Directory is not an official listing of federally recognized Tribes. It should be used in conjunction with the Federal Register Notice of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs (81 Fed. Reg. 26826), which is the official listing of all federally recognized Tribes in the United States, pursuant to the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-454, 108 Stat. 4791-4792). As Tribal elections and other changes in Tribal leadership occur at various times throughout the year, the Directory's information is the most currently available at the time of its update and approval. Because the BIA cannot track all Tribal leadership changes in real time, it does not guarantee the accuracy of the Directory's Tribal contact information. The reference map is also designed to reflect the general locations of BIA regional and agency offices and Tribal government headquarters. The locations of Tribal and federal offices shown in this map viewer are not to be used for legal purposes, and the BIA does not guarantee the accuracy of this information. To learn more about the Directory and map, contact the BIA Division of Tribal Government Services at (202) 513-7641. To access the most recent Federal Register Notice, visit the Tribal Leaders Directory Service Page.

Additional Information

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Indian Affairs, Office of Indian Services, Division of Tribal Government Services
Bureau of Indian Affairs 1849 C Street, N.W. MS-3645-MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Open 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday
(202) 208-5113