Wednesday, January 26, 2011

National Museum of The American Indian Asks: Who is Indian, and what makes a person an Indian?

Dennis Zotigh at the NMAI has a blog post asking Who is Indian, and what makes a person an Indian?

It's a moving target, I say.   The rules get changed, sometimes depending on how much per capita is, or would be if they cut Indians from the tribe.   From Dennis' Blog Post:

The question of who is an Indian is often debated among Indian people. Does carrying a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) make you Indian? Does being raised away from a reservation and not having traditional knowledge make a person less Indian? Does knowing your language make you more Indian? These are some of the complex questions that have been debated on determining Indian identity. The response depends on who is answering the question.
Skin color does not make you Indian. In our museum I have heard non-Indians comment they have seen an Indian simply if the person they saw has the long black hair, brown skin, and high cheek bones associated with the classic Indian image. In reality, there are proud Indians with blonde hair and blue eyes or black skin. Through intermarriage, their Indian descent comes from one or both Indian parents.
Each tribe has the sovereign authority to define who its members are and who is eligible to be enrolled. Some tribes have blood quantum requirements—a requirement that to be enrolled, a person must have at least a certain degree of tribal ancestry, such as one-fourth—while other tribes’ laws state that a person is eligible for enrollment if one of his or her ancestors appears on a particular historical list of tribal members. Ultimately the question, “Who is an Indian?” is determined by tribal law

See the rest of the article  HERE


Anonymous said...

Might want to post an article on the big fight in glendale az, toho Odam nation tribe bought 53 acres of land by the cardinal football teams stadium (private land) and is going to build a casino there.

The DEPT OF INTERIOR is being accussed of breaking the law,they are allowing the tribe to build it!!! ,the city states the land is not trust land,but the tribe states the state gaming compact allows it!

(a federal judge will rule on this)!

Anonymous said...

How about who is not Indian!

A person borne German, from Germany
with a blend of African (black ancestral blood) does not make any American Indian from the reservations.

Not a illegal immigrant mexican, from Mexico, blended with a european, does not make an American Indian.

Not a illegal immigrant from mexican or a russian from russia, makes an american Indian.

A fake Indian, does make an fake Indian!