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Every tribe has its own rules for membership. Some tribes include lineal descent – proof that you descend from a recognized tribal member – while others have a blood quantum requirement that requires members possess a certain percentage of tribal blood. On White Earth, researchers found that the Nation would see dramatically diminished enrollment numbers in the future if they continued using blood quantum as a requirement for membership. In 2013, White Earth citizens voted to change tribal enrollment from blood quantum to lineal descent. The change hasn’t yet gone into effect, and questions linger about how enrollment will impact the tribe’s connection to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, as well as its federal status. What are the benefits and drawbacks of basing tribal enrollment on blood quantum? Would you like to see your tribe change enrollment policy to blood quantum or lineal descent? If your tribe uses blood quantum, do you think your tribe will exist 100 years from now?
Robert A. Williams Jr. (Lumbee) – the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and American Indian Studies and the Faculty Co-chair Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona
Dr. Jill Doerfler (White Earth) – Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth
Information on the White Earth Nation Constitutional Reform
Break Music: Stomp Dance (song) George Hunter (artist) Haven (album)
Renee Moreno-Creer says
I am of Yaqui decent and my great grandmother is of linage of the Yaqui’s….my grandmother is half English due to the assimilation of the tribe. She died thinking she was not a human being…as she was told by the forces who where in charge. I am native…
George Kamana Hunter says
Great show. Its good that you are bringing these heritage matters to light. Thanks so much for including my music on your show.
Yvette Tapp says
I am Wicocomico of the Chesapeake area and am a direct descendant of the two chiefs who were recognized by Britain. The sons and nephews of those two last chiefs fought against the British in the Revolutionary War, and yet, the US government does not grant federal recognition to the Wicocomico. A campaign in one of the Southern states was created in the 50s to eliminate the entire First Nations numbers by claiming that a person was either black or white, furthering this struggle our people who have been here for more than 20,000 years longer than the Europeans have been are forced to fight. Like the Pamunkey, Pocohontas’ tribe, we deserve to be granted this status by the U.S. whom we fought for, but, we stalled at the fifth step in the seven-step process. The Pamunkey are stalled now at the seventh stage. I personally do not need recognition from the occupiers, but, it would be a huge relief to have recognition from my fellow First Nations people, in place of this racism that has been drummed into them by these invaders. I look forward to the day when Spirit and inner experience trumps outward appearances, false identification by artificial race charting and branding, societal indoctrination, cultural genocide, introduction of certain “religious” prejudice and shaming.
Hi i am a daughter of a tribal member have been waiting since i was 18 ti be enrolled with my tribe..im mono from table mountain rancheria. .lets just say money changes people tribe goes off blood quantum.. were there no more then 70 tribal members.. were due for extinction at the rate were going. .im 32and still waiting
I believe with all my heart that I am pamunkey my son is in the care of DHS in portland oregonat the moment and they don’t believe that my son is a Native American and I need some help my aunt is Lori Montgomery Rock and she i. Enrolled and my father is Dennis Eugene Montgomeryin their father was walter clyde montgomeryI need to know what i need to do to get enrolled
Blood quantum wasn’t the natural way of our native people, and it shouldnt be now. If I had children with a non-native I wouldn’t want my tribe rejecting my children and half of their heritage just because the other half of the heritage is of another culture. Both cultures are important. Our native traditions pass from parents to children. Native people have welcoming hearts, we should pass our native ways and traditions onto our young with honor and goodness. Don’t allow money to alienate an indian from the tribe, the benefits are not the important aspect of being a citizen, what is of importance is the good traditions and unity of our tribes.