Cherokee Registry

Who are the federally recognized Cherokees?

The Cherokee people are made up of three federally recognized bands. The Cherokee Nation, headquartered in Tahlequah, OK, is the largest of the three with over 220,000 tribal members. Also headquartered in Tahlequah is the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, the smallest of the three, with approximately 10,000 tribal members. The third is the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, headquartered in Cherokee, North Carolina, with approximately 12,000 tribal members. While there are many people of Cherokee ancestry, not all qualify for tribal citizenship in any of these three bands. Federally recognized Cherokee are those formally recognized by the United States government. Each has their own criteria for citizenship. Those who do not qualify are often misled by groups around the country who have no federal, historic, or cultural foundation.