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

Anadarko, Oklahoma, U.S.A. – October 11, 2015: Woman dancing at the Kiowa Blackleggings Warrior Society Pow-wow.

50 or 25 percent blood quantum or lineal descent, every tribe has its own criteria for mandatory percentage Indian

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. Thus the issue of what percentage Indian is any individual belonging to a tribe?

Every tribe has its own membership criteria; some go on blood quantum, others on descent, but whatever the criteria for “percentage Indian” 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.

The first blood quantum law for legal percentage Indian was passed in 1705 in the colony of Virginia in which laws were introduced to restrict the civil rights of Native people.

In 1924 Virginia passed the Racial Integrity Act, which required that every individual be classified as either white or black. Native Americans were erased from Virginia and U.S. history as their birth records were literally changed. The act has been lauded ‘pencil genocide.’

In 1934, due to the federal government’s Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and the associated awarded lands, many tribes were forced to adopt their own sets of blood quantum laws.

Here is a list of some tribes that claim blood quantum / percentage Indian requirements:

(List courtesy NativeVillage.org)

50 Percent / One-Half Blood Quantum (One Parent)

Kialegee Tribal Town

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi

St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin

White Mountain Apache Tribe, Arizona

Yomba Shoshone Tribe, Utah

25 Percent / One-Fourth Blood Quantum (One Grandparent)

Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians

Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Washington

Oneida Tribe of Indians, Wisconsin

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma

Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Arizona

Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma

Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Kansas

Navajo Nation, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico

Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, North and South Dakota

Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe, California

Havapai-Prescott Tribe, Arizona

United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Oklahoma

Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Montana

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York, Canada

12.5 Percent / One-Eighth Blood Quantum (One Great-Grandparent)

Apache Tribe of Oklahoma

Comanche Nation Oklahoma

Delaware Nation, Oklahoma

Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Reservation, Oregon

Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma

Karuk Tribe of California

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of the Muckleshoot Reservation, Washington

Northwestern Band of Shoshoni Nation of Utah (Washakie)

Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Oklahoma

Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma

Ponca Nation, Oklahoma

Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma

Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska

Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation, Washington

Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Washington

Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe of Washington

Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco and Tawakonie)

6.25 Percent / One-Sixteenth Blood Quantum (One Great-Great-Grandparent)

Caddo Nation

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon

Fort Sill Apache Tribe

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma

Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina

Lineal Descent

Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town

Cherokee Nation

Chickasaw Nation

Choctaw Nation

Citizen Potawatomi Nation

Delaware Tribe of Indians

Eastern Shawnee Tribe

Kaw Nation

Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Modoc Tribe

Muscogee Creek Nation

Osage Nation

Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma

Peoria Tribe of Indians

Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan

Seminole Nation

Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma

Shawnee Tribe

Thlopthlocco Tribal Town

Tonkawa Tribe

Wyandotte Nation

Source:  https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com