Only tribes who maintain a legal relationship to the U.S. government through binding treaties, acts of Congress, executive orders, etc., are officially "recognized" by the federal government. Once "recognized" a tribe has a legal relationship with the United States. There are currently more than 550 federally recognized tribes in the United States, including some 200 village groups in Alaska. See the Native American Rights Fund web site for more information.
According to Interior, changes include the following:
"The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe was acknowledged under 25 CFR part 83. The final determination for Federal acknowledgment became effective on May 23, 2007. The list also contains several tribal name changes and corrections. To aid in identifying tribal name changes, the tribe's former name is included with the new tribal name. To aid in identifying corrections, the tribe's previously listed name is included with the tribal name. We will continue to list the tribe's former or previously listed name for several years before dropping the former or previously listed name from the list."Interior is required to publish a list of federally-recognized tribes per the "Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994" (Pub. L. 103-454). In the United States Code Annotated, it is found at 25 USCA § 479a and 479a-1. A previous list was published March 22, 2007. For previous lists back to 1979, contact the Library.