According to the federal government, in order to be a Native American, one must enroll in one of the 573 federally recognized tribes, etc. An individual must connect their name to the enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe.6
Most tribes require a specific percentage of Native “blood,” called blood quantum, in addition to being able to document which tribal member you descend from. Some tribes require as much as 25% Native heritage, and most require at least 1/16th Native heritage, which is one great-great grandparent.
There is no legal adoption of adults, to make them full tribal members. There are just a small handful of tribes that allow for adopted children to gain tribal citizenship. But, this has to be a formal adoption through recognized legal channels.
Here are some real, practical and meaningful ways that you can give support to indigenous people in your community and around the country.
To be eligible for this benefit program, individuals must meet all of the following:
A DNA test may be able to tell you whether or not you’re Indian, but it will not be able to tell you what tribe or nation your family comes from, and DNA testing is not accepted by any tribe or nation as proof of Indian ancestry.
According to the federal government, in order to be a Native American, one must enroll in one of the 573 federally recognized tribes, etc. An individual must connect their name to the enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Please see the link of the list of federally recognized tribes. 6
If your baby has any Native American heritage, your adoption plan may be subject to a federal law called the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This law is meant to help preserve Native American families, tribes and culture by regulating the adoption of Native American children.
Adopting an Indian child can be difficult, especially if you are not Indian yourself. However, it is not impossible. Just remember, ICWA may apply in many cases. If you do proceed, it is very important to keep that child connected to his or her own culture.
A Cherokee born today would stand to receive at least $168,000 when he or she turns 18. The tribe pays for financial training classes for both high school students and adults. It is not a requirement that tribal members drawing checks live on the reservation, though approximately 10,000 do.
In California, the answer is yes. In fact, it’s possible to adopt anyone of any age in the state. But, there are stipulations. For the most part, unless you are a relative like a cousin or sibling, you need to be at least 10 years older than the person you are adopting.
The Indian Law Resource Center is a non-profit law and advocacy organization that advocates for the protection of indigenous peoples human rights, cultures, and traditional lands.
10 ways to be a genuine ally to Indigenous communities
Members of some Native American tribes receive cash payouts from gaming revenue. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, for example, has paid its members $30,000 per month from casino earnings. Other tribes send out more modest annual checks of $1,000 or less.
All major ABO blood alleles are found in most populations worldwide, whereas the majority of Native Americans are nearly exclusively in the O group. O allele molecular characterization could aid in elucidating the possible causes of group O predominance in Native American populations.
If you have Native American DNA, it will appear in your ethnicity results as the Indigenous Americas region. The AncestryDNA test is not intended to be used as legal proof of Native American ethnicity.