The Department of the Interior released a new list of federally recognized tribes on April 4, 2008, titled:"Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs," it has been reported by Nat'l Indian Law Library.
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.