5 Richest Native American Tribes in the US

5 Richest Native American Tribes in the US

The Native American communities of the United States have been a fundamental part of the country’s culture, history, and economy. Throughout the years, many of these tribes have amassed significant wealth and prosperity, mainly through land development, tourism, casino gambling, and other successful business ventures.

This has not been the case for all of the tribes in North America.  Many still struggle.

If you are wondering which five Native American tribes hold the title for being the richest, continue reading to learn more.

Keep in mind that this does not mean that all tribal members from these tribes experience the same level of wealth.  This list is based on several factors.  Many tribes do not have the resources and wealth of others.  The list below is just to highlight some successes that a few tribes have been able to have.

These are the exceptions!


1. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is the wealthiest Native American tribe, with a total wealth amounting to $2.7 billion.

According to court records, each adult receives a monthly payment of approximately $84,000, or $1.08 million annually. There are 480 members in total. It is a sovereign and federally recognized tribe located southwest of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, within parts of Shakopee and Prior Lake in Scott County, Minnesota.

The main sources of income of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community are gambling and resorts. It boasts two casinos that attract thousands of gamblers from all over the state. The Little Six Casino and Mystic Lake Casino both account for $1.4 billion of the gambling profits in Minnesota.


2. Navajo Nation

It is the second richest Native American tribe, with a net worth of $2.5 billion. The tribe’s wealth mainly comes from natural resources, including oil, coal, and gas. It also has a substantial part in the casino industry, generating income in hundreds of millions. The tribe has a land base of 27,000 sq. miles and extends into the States of New Mexico, Arizona, and New Mexico.


3. Coeur d’Alene

The word ‘Coeur d’Alene’ translates to “heart of an owl,” a name given to the tribe in the 18th century by French traders.

It has a total wealth of around $2.27 billion, and its primary sources of wealth include investments in a wide range of industries. These include technological products, resorts, and casinos. 


4. Gila River Indian Community

The Gila River Indian Community is located in the state of Arizona. And mainly generates its money from resorts and casinos. With a whopping net worth of $2.15 billion, the Gila River Indian Community operates eleven casinos and numerous other businesses. It has approximately 21,300 enrolled members, and the Community is home to two tribes – the Pee Posh and Akimel O’odham.


5. Oneida Nation

The Oneida Nation is between Outagamie and Brown Counties and spans 65,400 acres. It is the 5th largest employer in Brown County and 14th largest in Outagamie County, employing around 3,085 people.

The tribe has a total net worth of $1 billion and has successfully and communally established various casinos, tobacco production, convenience stores, and resorts, serving as its primary income sources.


This article delves into the financial success stories of the richest Native American tribes in the United States, shedding light on the sources of their remarkable wealth.

Topping the list is the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, with a staggering net worth of $2.7 billion. Their affluence primarily stems from the thriving gambling and resort industry, exemplified by their two prominent casinos, the Little Six Casino and Mystic Lake Casino. Each adult member receives a remarkable monthly payment of around $84,000, a testament to the tribe's economic prosperity. The Navajo Nation follows closely behind, with a net worth of $2.5 billion, driven by revenues from natural resources like oil, coal, and gas, as well as a significant presence in the casino sector.

The article also spotlights the Coeur d’Alene tribe, amassing a wealth of approximately $2.27 billion, diversified across various industries, including technology products, resorts, and casinos. The Gila River Indian Community in Arizona secures the fourth position with a net worth of $2.15 billion, primarily generated from their eleven casinos and a range of other business ventures.

Lastly, the Oneida Nation, situated between Outagamie and Brown Counties, stands as the fifth richest tribe with a net worth of $1 billion, driven by a communal approach to enterprises such as casinos, tobacco production, convenience stores, and resorts. These tribes exemplify the economic resilience and diversified investments that have propelled them to the pinnacle of Native American wealth in the United States.

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by Paul G

About Paul G

Paul G is the founder PowWows.com, who wears many hats as a business coach, photographer, and collector of quirky shirts. Paul started PowWows.com in 1996 while pursuing his graduate degree. With a passion for travel, he and his family hav  traveled the world, capturing unforgettable memories and photos. When he's not coaching or clicking, he's indulging in the magic of Disney.


36 Comments on “5 Richest Native American Tribes in the US”

  • Avatar for Roger Yazzie

    Roger Yazzie

    says:

    I’m from the NN and I don’t believe anyone is rich as an indigenous. The only way to call yourself rich is when everyone in your landbases is living a healthy resourceful life and land and water tables are clean from contamination.

    • Avatar for Jerry

      Jerry

      says:

      I’m from Az born and raised in Phoenix and what you said is true Roger we have to take care of our land and natural resources to pass on to our children

  • Avatar for Dawn Well

    Dawn Well

    says:

    As a Navajo myself – this list is definitely a head-scratcher. I am curious why the Southern Ute tribe, which has before been part of the Fortune 500, the Mdewakanton Sioux in the Prairie Island area receives percaps around $12k monthly. Only in the state of California do the tribes own their own casinos – surely those tribes are more prosperous.

    The only time the Navajos have ever received any money is through the COVID stimulus that our tribe was fortunate to have. That’s it. I am close to 40. Our small 4 casinos are mostly investor-owned. We may be wealthy in other ways, but it’s almost laughable to be anywhere near a “richest tribe” list as far as capitalism goes.

  • Avatar for Melva Zuniga Alonso

    Melva Zuniga Alonso

    says:

    Thank you! You said it so well!
    I’m Blackfeet & Chippewa & I totally agree with you.

  • Avatar for Brian

    Brian

    says:

    It takes GREAT VISIONARIES and BRAVE PEOPLE to lead the way. And Brave People up to the task to follow those great leaders.

    Joel’s horrific story of abduction and enslavement is a sobering reminder that forward movement and success is not without trials and tribulation.

    Let’s celebrate these tribes successes knowing their victories were hard fought and show great resilience and sound judgement.

    Inspire the next generation that their ambitions can also be realized and achieved.

    Don’t fill them with fear. Fill them with hope.

    Record increases in Tribal Membership. Increased Native American representation on the Local, State and Federal level.

    There has never been a better time than now to improve the quality of life of all Native Americans.

    • Avatar for T Ambrose

      T Ambrose

      says:

      Right On!

  • Avatar for Dana

    Dana

    says:

    “each adult receives a monthly payment of approximately $84,000, or $1.08 million annually.”
    Now the US government has, let’s.. say.. errr five trillion in assets and the immigrants who came over here and lost life and limb, father, mother, sibling doesn’t receive anything close to some of these amounts of money. I’d say why is there poverty period.

    • Avatar for Mel

      Mel

      says:

      It’s called High Treason by our do nothing politicians in DC. These bastard’s deserve a military tribunal firing squad. It seems like this fraud government within our country hates to death the American people because of to they’re not trying to poisen us they’re trying to shoot us.

    • Avatar for Jacqueline

      Jacqueline

      says:

      This is a flawed comparison. Native Indians were not immigrants, they were invaded by immigrants from other lands who undertook control without compromise.

  • Avatar for Betty Willems

    Betty Willems

    says:

    I always believe that if I can do it so can you. It’s all about choices.

    • Avatar for Victoria Zabaras

      The first thing the Nazis did when they came to power was murder their own disabled people.
      No. Just because you can “make it” doesn’t mean other people can also.
      Another thing the nazis did to get rid of vulnerable people was round up all older widows not living with their children and the Nazis lock them underground in the dark with no food or water to die alone like that altogether.

      • Avatar for C. Davis

        C. Davis

        says:

        Just remember Some States are Transparent so speak softly, because they can TCHASETUS.P Peace and Godbless.

  • Avatar for EDR

    EDR

    says:

    The wealth of a tribe, doesn’t mean a wealth of members…..
    There’s still a lot of poverty within the Native Americans….
    Those that receive royalties are very fortunate and sometimes the amounts are
    very minimal so publishing the richest tribes
    Is misleading as the money does not go to tribal members….
    How the tribe’s use that money and are the
    Tribal members benefiting from it that’s
    my question….
    The Navajo Nations may be the second richest tribe, but there’s still a lot of poverty
    to recognize…
    Thank You….

    • Avatar for Pamela Mokler

      Pamela Mokler

      says:

      This article appears to be very misleading. We, the American peope, owe Native Americans huge amounts of money under the treaties our ancestors signed when we stole their land and committed genocide. The Lakota Treaty was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. I’m trying to understand why so much of the Navajo Nation is without basic running water? Why isn’t more of their wealth funneled into drilling wells, etc.? There doesn’t appear to be a fair distribution of their wealth since so many Natives live in poverty? Does a small percentage of these tribes have access to funds – similar to the rest of the U.S.? That argument does not appear to be alignment with Native American values and their culture(s).

  • Avatar for Running Doe

    Osiyo with pride for sharing, Running Doe

  • Avatar for Edwin A

    Edwin A

    says:

    Yes, I too am a tribal member of Oneida Nation. We do get a meager portion of the funds only once a year. However, they do help the tribe with providing health, schooling.

  • Avatar for Vickey Frank

    Vickey Frank

    says:

    I am not an American indigenous person as my parents were born in Mexico.
    But as an American I am ashamed how Native peoples have been treated throughout history as well as present day. I think it is wonderful that some tribes have such monetary abundance, but my personal opinion is that all Native People should have been compensated by the government years ago for the loss of their humanity, land and dignity, they should not have to continue to fight for what is rightfully theirs. Like brother/sisters and cousins have disagreements all tribes should stand together and support and encourage each other to better themselves and their lives.

    • Avatar for Ray Aitken

      Ray Aitken

      says:

      Don’t forget treatment by Mexico and countries in south and central America. Being a more open society the US gets more press and blame for treatment than countries in this hemisphere that suppress their history.

    • Avatar for Maria Torres

      Maria Torres

      says:

      Good point, those figures are misleading SO TRUE

  • Avatar for Lynn M Jenkinson

    Lynn M Jenkinson

    says:

    Hi, I’m very glad to see some tribes doing so well but I cannot understand why, if they have that much money, some Reservations such as Pine Ridge, Standing Rock, Crow Indian, and Wind River are not getting some help from these wealthy tribes. Thank you for your time and Many Blessings to all.

    • Avatar for Dale H

      Dale H

      says:

      Bout 25-30 years back I worked in New Mexico, I read where a reporter asked a local Pueblo tribe, how much income is generated from their rather large casino. The Pueblo responded back by saying why don’t you go ask JC Penny how much money they generate a year.

      • Avatar for TeriC

        TeriC

        says:

        Great answer!!

    • Avatar for M

      M

      says:

      Some tribes are corrupt and don’t care about their people.

  • Avatar for Emily

    Emily

    says:

    I am happy to know that some of the tribes are doing that well. They deserve it based on how they were treated in the past. It is very surprising to me. I visited the Zuni reservation recently and found such poverty it made me sad. I wish the very wealthy could share some wealth and help others, specifically the church needs major repairs there. And the children beg for visitors to give them money, which I did. Thanks for letting me comment.

    • Avatar for Sharron k Johnson

      Sharron k Johnson

      says:

      I have 1.5% First People in me and even though I am adopted, I can prove a blood line through my grandmother, which I claim Cherokee.
      My understanding Native American Tribes we’re not friendly to each other and they helped America with the European’s to be help fight the other tribes for territoryial rights, it wasn’t until Standing Rock that they became more united, in my opinion.
      Sharron K.

    • Avatar for Kathleen E King

      Kathleen E King

      says:

      “[E]specially the church” needs repairs! LEARN the history of the Pueblan peoples, especially the Zuni. Learn just what the “church” did to the people, and see how sympathetic you then feel toward that head of molded mud however historic. I say, although I usually deplore extirpating historic artifacts, in the case of the First Nations and First People, letting the religious people and symbols rot is appropriate. Don’t spend “tribal” money subsidizing the thieves, murderers, and rapists who wear a crucifix because it is only a stylized swastika.

  • Avatar for Joel

    Joel

    says:

    Hey Pow Wow folks, im not trying to be a buzz kill or anything and its great for our peoples to prosper, but i dont think other non native folks should know that kind of information. My Tribe isnt mentioned. However, there are groups that prey on our people and the fact that we even get additional funds or have more than the average person in the area we live in makes us targets of hate crimes , addicts and extortion. A few of my kinsman and women have been abducted drugged and enslaved to their tormentors because we have more than the average person
    Im just sayin

    • Avatar for Paul G

      Paul G

      says:

      This isn’t private information. This has been published by main stream media sources such as the New York Times.

    • Avatar for Pat Alvidrez

      Pat Alvidrez

      says:

      👍rightpat

    • Avatar for Grace

      Grace

      says:

      I agree with you. This information is misleading. Just because the tribe has money doesn’t mean the people do. I’m a member of the Oneida Nation and I’m shocked that we are in the top 5! We might get a very small sum ONCE a year. My tribe is buying back land, building schools and daycare and healthcare facilities with the income. Unless I live on the rez though, I cannot take advantage of the many benefits provided. If someone tries to extort me, they will be very disappointed.

      • Avatar for Paul G

        Paul G

        says:

        Yes, this article is just about the tribe’s wealth, not tribal members. All the tribes make different choices about how they invest and what services they provide.

    • Avatar for Melanie I.

      Melanie I.

      says:

      I TOTALLY Agree with you Joel. And its really none of their business to know exact wealth.
      Will definetely stir up the Haters. Glad somebody has the courage to speak upon it!

      • Avatar for Edward Little Wolf

        Edward Little Wolf

        says:

        Your right on the money and its best left alone and hushed.

    • Avatar for Martha Fletcher

      Martha Fletcher

      says:

      Paul’s right it is know fact but I see your point we just need to watch out for each other the u s government is too watch out for I’m just saying Native Pride( Osage/ Cheyenne)

    • Avatar for Mary Sanderson

      Mary Sanderson

      says:

      Agree. I was thinking the same

    • Avatar for Venessa Marquez

      Venessa Marquez

      says:

      Joel. When you say enslaved do you mean literally. As in present day. I ask because my sister has been m.i.a. it feels like she’s being held hostage in her own home because keeping her alive is more beneficial. Is there anyway I can get some help to find out. I’m in california

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