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Old 09-19-2006, 09:45 PM   #1
ntownn8ive
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Blood Degree for Enrollment

Various comments in this forum have sparked me to ask all of you exactly what you think about blood degree for enrollment.

Understand that blood degree for recognition or eligibility to be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe is a policy of the federal government.

Back in the day, tribal affiliation was based on whether or not that particular tribe was maternalistic or paternalistic. Example, my father's people were maternalistic. If a man married a woman, he would become a member of her tribe. He was adopted and given and name and whatever. Now, given the values of today's Natives, not very many men would consider totally giving up some, not all, but some of their tribal affiliation.

Also, not very many tribal governments would be happy of the fact that they would have to legally adopt and grant membership rights to a man or woman, just because one of their members decides to marry that particular person. In doing so, we then loose an important part of our teachings and culture.

So, lets quit being selfish and self centered and take a look at our children, for their sake and future. My children are enrolled N. Cheyenne because they are not enough blood degree to be enrolled in my tribe. I am a 1/4 Colville, 1/4 Umatilla, 1/4 Tlingit and the rest some Filipino and French or German. So, my children are an 1/8 of this and that and 1/4 N. Cheyenne and a 1/4 Oglala. Consider this, if my tribe choose to enroll me at the blood quantity of my entire Indian blood, I could be 3/4 Colville, as was done on the base rolls back in the day. My children would then be 3/8 plus 1/2 from their mom. Using the base roll ideal, they could be enrolled N. Cheyenne at 7/8. I would not necessarily have to become a N. Cheyenne, legally, but for my childrens' sake, they would be considered entirely N. Cheyenne. Certainly they would not live their lives knowing nothing about their father's people, as a parent, teaching them their culture would be important.

So, Native people, understanding that blood quantity was a longterm termination plan designed by the federal government, it is now up to us to really dig down deep and put aside all issues and truly embrace the fact that traditionally these bonds of marriage and cultural preservation for our children and grandchildren is what matters most.

Long story short, parents would have to decide based on their beliefs or values, what tribe to enroll their children in, the Mother's or the Father's; and their children would be enrolled in that tribe a the entire Indian blood quantity from both parents.

I hate the fact that money is a big issue and truthfully, I know that enrolling my kids in my tribe would be more benificial since we live closer and financial reasons, e.g. a larger per capita payment. But, we'd be recognizing that our family bonds are more important to maintain and we'd be participating in and contributing to the preservation of our culture.

Is the gradual exterminating of our tribe's not a big issue to anyone?
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