Native American Tribal Enrollment
Enrollment Procedures and Recourse
(University of Oklahoma Law Library)
This article, one of several publications provided by Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, was written by Gregg L. Lewis, University of Oklahoma, Native American Studies student.
Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood Application and Instructions (Bureau of Indian Affairs)
What is the Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood (CDIB)?
(State of Oklahoma)
Provides a short description of CDIB as well as a links to useful resources.
Best Practices for Defending Tribal Membership Cases: Leading Lawyers on Navigating Tribal Membership Enrollment Issues (Thomson Reuters, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-3142-9084-7)
Provides an authoritative, insider's perspective on the critical importance of tribal membership to both the individual member and to the tribe. See NILL catalog record or purchase a copy. This book may also be available through your local law library.
American Indian Tribal Law by Matthew L.M. Fletcher (Wolters Kluwer, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-7355-9975-8)
Chapter 4 covers Tribal Membership, including membership criteria, judicial review of membership determinations, disenrollment, and federal government intervention. See NILL catalog record or purchase a copy. This book may also be available through your local law library.
Law review articles on tribal enrollment are indexed in the NILL library catalog. Many are available online in full-text while others are available by request from the library.
For court cases, federal legislation, and news that is relevant to tribal enrollment, search "enrollment" or "membership" in the Indian Law Bulletins.
Enrolling in a Tribe
Indian tribes are sovereign and set their own rules regarding tribal enrollment and membership. In order to find out what requirements a specific tribe has, contact the tribe's main office or tribal enrollment office.
In addition, enrollment or membership requirements often can be found in tribal constitutions or tribal codes. Visit the NILL Tribal Law Gateway to review our collection of tribal codes and constitutions. Search for "enrollment" or "membership" to find sections on those topics.
Most tribes have blood quantum and/or lineage requirements. See our guide to Tracing Your American Indian Roots for tips on genealogy research.
Possible Benefits from Tribal Enrollment
Myth of a monthly check, see page 2 of
Guide to Tracing Your American Indian Ancestry (Bureau of Indian Affairs)
For more general information on rights of Native Americans, see the book: Rights of Indians and Tribes by Stephen Pevar.
DNA Genetic Testing
"There is no DNA Test to Prove you are Native American" by Linda Gedes. New Scientist. (February 5, 2014)
"Genetic Testing Clashes between Biological and Cultural Tribal Identity" by Roshni Iyer. 2016.
National Native American Bar Association's Formal Opinion No. 1 - Duties of Tribal Court Advocate to Ensure Due Process Afforded to All Individuals Targeted for Disenrollment (June 26, 2015)
Law review articles and other resources on disenrollment are indexed in the NILL library catalog. Many are available online in full-text while others are available by request from the library.
For cases, legislation, and news on disenrollment, search "disenrollment" in the Indian Law Bulletins.