Native American Tribes of Arizona

The name Arizona came from a Uto-Aztecan Indian word in the Tohono-O’odham language which means “little spring”. However, the O’odham were not the only native tribe in Arizona. Native American tribes in Arizona inhabited Arizona for more than thousands of years. Arizona is one of the states in the U.S. with the largest percentage of Native Americans. It has also the second highest total Native American population amongst the states. Most of the Navajo Nation and the whole Tohono O’odham Nation are both located in Arizona. The Navajo Nation is U.S.’ biggest Native American reservation while the Tohono O’odham Nation is the second largest reservation. More than a quarter of the state’s areas are reservation lands.

Native American tribes in Arizona

The original Native American tribes in Arizona are the following:

The Akimel O’odham or Pima Indians
The Apache Indians
The Cocopah tribe
The Halchidhoma tribe
The Hualapai , Havasupai, and  Yavapai tribes
The Hopi Indians
The Jano and Jocome tribes
The Maricopa tribe
The Mohave tribe
The Navajo tribe
The Southern Paiute tribe
The Tohono O’odham or Papago tribe
The Yaqui tribe
The Yuma tribe
The Zuni tribe

Arizona comprises a vast variety of exciting Native American cultures. It is home to the 21 federally recognized nations, communities, and tribes. Most tribes descended from the Native American tribes in Arizona. Others existed a few centuries before the Spanish explorers travelled into the state. Today, Arizona’s total population is estimated to be 5%-6% coming from American Indian ancestry.

  1. Ak-Chin Indian Community or Pima and Papago
  2. Cocopah Indian Tribe
  3. Colorado River Indian Tribes or Navajo, Chemehuevi, Hopi, and Mohave
  4. Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation or the Yavapai and Apache
  5. Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
  6. Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe
  7. Gila River Indian Community or the Pima and Maricopa
  8. Havasupai Tribe
  9. Hopi Tribe
  10. Hualapai Tribe
  11. Kaibab Paiute Tribe
  12. Navajo Nation
  13. Pascua Yaqui Tribe
  14. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community
  15. San Carlos Apache Tribe
  16. San Juan Southern-Paiute Tribe
  17. Tohono O’odham Nation
  18. Tonto Apache Tribe
  19. White Mountain Apache Tribe
  20. Yavapai Apache Nation
  21. Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe

Prehistoric Cultures in Arizona