25 U.S. Code § 479a - Definitions
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For the purposes of this title: 
(2) The term “Indian tribe” means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe.
(3) The term “list” means the list of recognized tribes published by the Secretary pursuant to section 479a–1 of this title.
 See References in Text note below.
Source(Pub. L. 103–454, title I, § 102,Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4791.)
References in Text
This title, referred to in introductory provisions, is title I of Pub. L. 103–454, Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4791, which enacted this section, section 479a–1 of this title, and provisions set out as notes below. For complete classification of this title to the Code, see Short Title note below and Tables.
Pub. L. 103–454, title I, § 101,Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4791, provided that: “This title [enacting this section and section 479a–1 of this title and provisions set out below] may be cited as the ‘Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994’.”
Pub. L. 103–454, title I, § 103,Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4791, provided that: “The Congress finds that—
“(1) the Constitution, as interpreted by Federal case law, invests Congress with plenary authority over Indian Affairs;
“(2) ancillary to that authority, the United States has a trust responsibility to recognized Indian tribes, maintains a government-to-government relationship with those tribes, and recognizes the sovereignty of those tribes;
“(3) Indian tribes presently may be recognized by Act of Congress; by the administrative procedures set forth in part 83 of the Code of Federal Regulations denominated ‘Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe;’ or by a decision of a United States court;
“(4) a tribe which has been recognized in one of these manners may not be terminated except by an Act of Congress;
“(5) Congress has expressly repudiated the policy of terminating recognized Indian tribes, and has actively sought to restore recognition to tribes that previously have been terminated;
“(6) the Secretary of the Interior is charged with the responsibility of keeping a list of all federally recognized tribes;
“(7) the list published by the Secretary should be accurate, regularly updated, and regularly published, since it is used by the various departments and agencies of the United States to determine the eligibility of certain groups to receive services from the United States; and
“(8) the list of federally recognized tribes which the Secretary publishes should reflect all of the federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States which are eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.”