The term "Indian tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village but not including any Alaska Native regional or village corporation, which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. 42 USCS § 9601
According to 25 USCS § 4103 (13) [Title 25. Indians; Chapter 43. Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination],
“(A) In general. The term "Indian tribe" means a tribe that is a federally recognized tribe or a State recognized tribe.
(B) Federally recognized tribe. The term "federally recognized tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act [43 USCS §§ 1601 et seq.], that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians pursuant to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.).
(C) State recognized tribe.
(i) In general. The term "State recognized tribe" means any tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community--
(I) that has been recognized as an Indian tribe by any State; and
(II) for which an Indian Housing Authority has, before the effective date under section 705 [effective October 26, 1996], entered into a contract with the Secretary pursuant to the United States Housing Act of 1937 for housing for Indian families and has received funding pursuant to such contract within the 5-year period ending upon such effective date.
(ii) Conditions. Notwithstanding clause (i)--
(I) the allocation formula under section 302 [25 USCS § 4152] shall be determined for a State recognized tribe under tribal membership eligibility criteria in existence on the date of the enactment of this Act [enacted Oct. 26, 1996]; and
(II) nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to confer upon a State recognized tribe any rights, privileges, responsibilities, or obligations otherwise accorded groups recognized as Indian tribes by the United States for other purposes.”