I’m 1/16 native american?

I’m confused.

Apparently my great grandma was 100% Native American. I don’t look native AT ALL. My dad’s side of the family is 100% Scottish. I have white skin with a hint of red. I have dirty blond hair and blue eyes. Nothing about me looks native.

Someone told me that 1/16 was enough to go to reservations and things… what?

I do not consider myself native at all. Is this really true? If it is, I think it’s flawed. It should be 1/8th or even higher.

Could someone please explain this? I’m not trying to play a “native card”. I am seeking NO native benefits, as I don’t consider myself native, and I don’t want to make a fool of myself.

The only thing that points to my heritage is that I’m from the southern Appalachians. That’s ALL I can think of.

Note: I have nothing against any race. I am posting this because I do not consider myself part of the Native American race, and I would like to see if people concur.

13 Answers

  • If you had a CDIB indicating that you had a blood quantum of 1/16 Cherokee, if a direct ancestor appeared on either the Baker or Dawes Roll and if you had at least one parent who were tribal citizens, then you would be eligible for tribal citizenship in the Cherokee Nation (if ancestor is on the Dawes Rolls, no blood quantum requirement) or the Eastern Band of Cherokee (if ancestor is on the Baker Roll, 1/16th blood quantum required) if you have not reached the cutoff age.

    However, there are no benefits, and you don’t need to be Indian to live on the reservation.

    Adeezbaa- People from Southern Appalachia don’t know where they came from, and hence, will claim Indian ancestry. Usually where the great-great-grandmother myth comes into to play is that they remember their grandmother saying that her grandmother was a “full-blooded Cherokee”. If they are are willing to look at their family history, they will find that their family has origins in the following three places: Southern/Central Europe, North Africa, and the possibility of sub-Saharan Africa (depending on the family that one comes from). Or if they are the small minority that knows their family history, then they are probably descended from someone on the British Isles.

  • Unless you great great grandmother was from the Qualla Boundary reservation and a recognized member of the Eastern Band Cherokee then there is no way she was 100% Native. That was the only community near southern Appalachia region where fullblood Indians could be found. It is a very tight-knit community and all families are well-known and recognized. If she was alive in 1924 she should be listed on the Baker Roll. If she was alive in 1884 she should be found on the Hester Roll. If not, she wasn’t fullblood Native, and likely this is just a family myth anyway.

  • Well, first you should know that there are no “native benefits” . Those are all myths. We don’t get free college, we don’t get money from the government, and we pay the same taxes you do.

    Second, native americans don’t come in fractions or percentages. You either ARE native American (meaning a tribal citizen) or you aren’t (being someone with a story about a native ancestor)

    third…millions of people have the identical family story as you, about a Cherokee gr-grandma. ( it IS Cherokee, right? Funny, how out of 565 tribes I was able to guess.) And being from southern Appalachia does not indicate any native ancestry. Quite the opposite, in fact, as all the Indians were removed from that area in 1830.

    So before you even start talking about an indian ancestor, it would behoove you to actual verify the story by checking the census records and tribal rolls. Unless you can find gr-grandma’s name listed as a tribal member (and VERY accurate records were kept) she most certainly wasn’t an indian. ( a few generations ago, someone who was mulatto would claim “Cherokee blood”, as that was slightly more socially acceptable than “black” blood.)

  • Dna DOES not establish a tribe by using name, and no tribe accepts it. You need to have regular documentation to show your relationship to her… To not mention, you need to prove THAT she was an enrolled member. Some tribes are not even accepting purposes, even if you MEET the qualifications. I individually am mindful of some NA who died before the Dawes rolls, and also married a non Native husband.. Her descendents have legitimate data to identify their ancestry, however they’ll no longer ever be qualified for tribal membership. Assuming that you can prove the tribe by means of alternate records, it’s up to you to enjoy finding out about that tribe, and for your possess documents, establish which ancestor used to be a part of that. You’re going to no longer be ready to grow to be a professional, enrolled member.

  • …I had a boyfriend in highschool who’s family always claimed “Cherokee Indian” in their ancestry. We used to argue about it all the time because he would take it personally when I would point out how unlikely this was. We’re still buddies on facebook. Since his dad died, his mom has gotten REALLY into family history/research. They are upper class African Americans who (now) live in D.C. and have connections with lots of folks who have the time/resources to give his mom a hand when she wants it. Anyways, about two years ago, he emailed me and said something like, “Well, you were very right. My mom doesn’t have a single drop of Cherokee in her at all. She has the records of all her ancestors dating back to either the ships they were brought in on, or purchase records of when they were sold to various people. We have some white in us, but no cherokee. She hasn’t worked much on my dad’s side yet, but since his family was from barbado’s, I don’t think its likely that they are cherokee either. I know you like hearing ‘you were right’ so i thought I’d tell you.”

    *for the record, I don’t necessarily like being right. I am just adamant when I KNOW I am..because I hate being ignorant, and appreciate it when others help me be less so, so I return the favor when I can.

  • I’m 1/8 and am white with a hint of red tint after spending some time in the sun. People think I am angry all the time.

    I don’t consider myself american indian, just another mutt in a world full of them.

  • If a person is 1/16 of any race then they can designate themselves as being that race. And if your great grandmother was 100% Native American then that would make you 1/8, not 1/16.

    You get 1/2 of your heritage from each of your two parents.

    You get 1/4 of your heritage from each of your four grandparents.

    You get 1/8 of your heritage from each of your eight great grandparents.

    You get 1/16 of your heritage from each of your sixteen great great grandparents.

    I’m not certain what law of inheritance makes it so that a person is tied by blood to a race or nationality for up to four generations, but that is where you’ll find the reasoning behind it.

  • congratulations! im 1/32 Native American, however, I look nothing like a Native American

  • I am a citizen of the chickasaw nation…

    I receive full benefits…Drs dentist..housing ..college…you name it we get it…

    It is not easy to prove you are Indian..they Go by your family history.

    The Indians in Oklahoma own all the casinos.

    And we benefit from that..but they don’t give us cash money

  • you are only american indian if you are a citizen of a native nation. just the same as if you had a gr grandfather who was an american, doesn’t make you one unless you too are a citizen of usa.

    being native is citizenship and culture. you were raised with neither.

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