'Blood Quantum Earrings' by jeweler Kristen Dorsey, from kristendorseydesigns.com/blood-quantum-earrings

What Percentage Indian Do You Have to Be in Order to Be a Member of a Tribe or Nation?

Sonny Skyhawk

Tribal Nations are the only recognized arbiter of belonging to or being a member of a tribe. No other agency or arm of any government has that responsibility, other than the particular tribe to which a person claims to belong.

Every tribe has its own membership criteria; some go on blood quantum, others on descent, but whatever the criteria it is the tribe’s enrollment office that has final say on whether a person may be a member. Anyone can claim Indian heritage, but only the tribe can grant official membership.


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terrypowless's picture
Submitted by terrypowless on
the grand purpose is to prepare the focus to keep alive. then we will return to the old ways when everyone was welcome.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
my grandmother was half cherokee,here lately i heard of people digging up arrow heads suppose to have found skelton remains,is it legal in kentucky for these places to be tresspassed against,its part of my hertigage can anything be done for this place to not be disturbed,it concerns me greatly thank you,if you can email me at morrisjoann63@yahoo.com,would also like to know more about my bloodline

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
My Great Grandmotherwas 100% Cherokee. Her name was Crecy. She married an Irishman named Eddie McFarlin. We can't get back any farther than that. I wish so badly I would have taken more of an interest while my Grandmother was alive. I would love to sit with her now with pen and paper. She asked me once if I had ever read "Trail of Tears", which I hadn't. I read it after her death and was infuriated. My sister and I have tried for to years to find out more about Crecy. We were told, by an Auntie, they(Crecy & Eddie) owned a store in Texas. We couldn't find it. My Auntie, whom I dearly loved & love still, has walked on, since she told us. How would we search this more? Don't know where to begin anymore. We know Crecy was born in Memphis in 1860, buried in Bonham County, Texas. Thank you for your help.

Leroy carman's picture
Leroy carman
Submitted by Leroy carman on
I am most likely just an ignorant caucasian. So please excuse my ignorance. My wife was reading a book about a woman that was born into the "Scientology" relegion. The author stated one of thier compounds was located next to a reservation perhaps in southern California. Inhabited by the Sobota Indians. We have never heard of this tribe any input from someone that has the time to share please leave a post and I will fwd an email addy. thank you so very much.

editors's picture
Submitted by editors on
@Michelle Moore: You can start tracing your ancestry back using something like Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com or FamilySearch.org or find a genealogist willing to help with the search, professionals are listed by specialty including Native American at ApGen.org.

chahta ohoyo's picture
chahta ohoyo
Submitted by chahta ohoyo on
it isnt that simple...the BIA also has a hand to a certain degree of granting tribal membership...

nancy freed's picture
nancy freed
Submitted by nancy freed on
I my grand mother was part black feet I am trying to look for any possible relatives she might have her name was Jessie cora rose but because she married my grandfather ralph Jarrett none of her kids got to know their grandparents, i am just hoping I can find a lead here.

Edward C Fulgum's picture
Edward C Fulgum
Submitted by Edward C Fulgum on
I had my DNA done, and it says I'm 15 % Native American. They don't say which Tribal Nation. On both sides of my parents it is said I have Cherokee, but i can not prove it.

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
All the more reason why the Navajo Tribe alone is closer to 100% (IMO 66%-75%) considering the great many of people still predominately Navajo. However in another generation or two (20-40 years), that percentage of change to half of all registered population members.

Lecouturier's picture
Submitted by Lecouturier on
Opposition to the mine demonstrates that its leaders are self appointed and do not represent the interest of the local people that would benefit from the mine revenues. Accusations by opponents are void of merit and libels. They ought to be tried in a court of laws and no longer made-up by foreign lawyers.

Allyn Wentz-Brown
Allyn Wentz-Brown
Submitted by Allyn Wentz-Brown on
I am, from the math, 1/16 Cayuga. I am trying to build a family tree but have come to a couple road blocks. My grandmothers mothers last name is unknown on how it was spelled. I have an Aunt (Her daughter) that is registered and supposedly her kids and their kids are as well but she is no help in trying to get where I am trying to go. Also I tried looking up the census from New York but I cannot find anything and I find it is due to a huge fire of the records. What can I do to complete my task? I feel I am meant to get this accomplished. I have thought about trying that ancestry.com deal but I am afraid that I will not get any information from that site due to that fire. Any suggestions? It would really mean a lot to me since my grandmother passed away last year and I was not able to get very much information from her having Alzheimers. Please help.

Charles R. Williamson Jr.'s picture
Charles R. Will...
Submitted by Charles R. Will... on
I believe I am 1/8th Apache. I would like to research my heritage. My great grandmother was 100%, so I'm told. Ancestry.com is hit and miss at best past Wounded Knee or Trail of tears. With these pieces I'd like truths. Charles_R_Williamson_Jr@yahoo.com

NDNRoger's picture
Submitted by NDNRoger on
1/4 Santee Dakota here. Not a tribal member nor will I be since I can't even get a reply from the council. It is not that important to me as I know who I am and who my relatives were/are. Mitakuye Oyasin...we are all related. I do wonder if the requests have gone through the roof since many a rez now has casinos. A couple of things the NDN learned well from the whiteman was greed and coruption. For those asking questions on how to find your ancestors: it takes a lot of work and research! I spent days and weeks at a National Archives and LDS pouring over microphish of census and NDN census rolls. No one is going to hand you the info. I hear that today many of the census rolls are online which will make your search a tad easier, but not much. Aho!

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
My father grew up as an orphan, or so he thought until I began digging into our genealogy. It turns out my dad was another victim of the Indian Boarding Schools even though he isn't full blood. In fact, we didn't know my dad was American Indian at all until I started digging. (They had changed his name, etc.) I also did my DNA thing and to my surprise I am 10%. None of this matters though, because it is how you choose to live your life that counts. Long before I discovered I had any American Indian blood in me, I was drawn to their beliefs and customs: Honor each other, help as needed, respect the Earth and everything in it, listen to your elders and learn from them, always endeavor to do the right thing and be just, etc. In the end, whether you are "officially" a member of a tribe or not is inconsequential compared to what is in your heart.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
Yeah but some tribes never open up for enrollment - so how do you carry on the heritage if not willing to enroll people who have done the work and would love to be recognized as a tribe member so the tribe can live on. Does the tribe have to have a bunch of members die off and then they open enrollment? Or is it because the tribe is worried about sharing their per cap? I spent a lot of time and money, as well as others in my family to trace the lineage and bloodline and documents etc. I submitted them and was told that the enrollment hasn't been open since 1980's - so the documents will be put in a "file" until enrollment opens if it opens. I am hoping the enrollment being closed indefinitely and tribe just recently being recognized by BIA - is not because of greed. Open up the enrollment- show this world that there are many tribes people still alive and kicking and supporting their tribes! Aho!

cristalhinojosa93's picture
Submitted by cristalhinojosa93 on
Does anyone know where I can go get checked to see what my percentage is on my native blood? Perferably in Dallas,TX, please.