Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesGenealogy · 1 decade ago

My mom says that we have Cherokee/Blackfoot and Seminole Indian ancestory, how am I?

How am I to go about tracing my family line? I'm not about the money I really just want to know a great deal more about my heritage and to become a active member in the Native American society. It's sad that I needto have documentation to prove that I'm someone that I believe to be all my life. So how am I to handle my situation? Thank you

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I agree. It is sad that Natives need documentation. It is just one form of continued oppression.

    Please know that Native ancestry is very difficult for most people to trace. Because of the history of oppresion many Native records were burned or not recorded at all.

    If you end up not being able to trace your ancestry I reccomend you just become involved in the culture. There are many ways to become active in the Native community. The more active you are the more: you will feel Native, the more you learn about being Native, the more you will learn about tracing your roots, the more others will see you as Native etc... It is very rewarding.

    The first thing you need to do is get all the information you can, especially last names. Call up the tribes you are from and ask if those last names are on the rolls. If they are not then you want to submit an article to the tribal newspaper hoping someone will recognize your lineage.

    More Information on how to become enrolled/prove descendency is listed below:

    To become enrolled in one's tribe is often a difficult process. Once one is enrolled one will have certain rights as a Native person. It is true that no one needs to prove their ethnic identity but to have full access to rights for Native people one must be enrolled.

    To become enrolled one must first should call one's tribe and find out the enrollment requirements. They are different per tribe.

    For most tribes you have to prove descendency and have a certain blood quantum. To prove descendency one needs to have some record of her belonging to a member of the tribe that was recognized by the tribe at some point, hopefully an individual that was enrolled at some point. The average blood quantum standard is 1/4. Unless you are Cherokee, their blood quantum standards are much less.

    If you don't have contact with your tribal member then you can ask the tribe to look for his last name. They can look this up and see if his family line is registered. If so then your in luck. If they don't immediately find it then you can use the tribal newspaper and submit an article asking if anyone has lineage to your tribal member .

    Many Native people can never become enrolled because standards of enrollment are high and were set up by the White government to oppress Native people and Native people have yet to change them.

    To become more involved in one'sculture one might want to look up local Native organizations or local tribes. Try going to Pow-wow's (because they are easy to find) and talk to community members there. Many colleges/universities have a Native student union where one can get involved or get more information.

    Please remember ancestry is very difficult for many Native people.

    By the way, I am Native, so I have some knowledge pertaining to this.

  • 1 decade ago

    Both the Cherokee and Seminole nations use the Dawes Rolls to determine membership and lineage. You might first want to get the names of your ancestors as far back as you can go. Then check online (google Dawes Rolls) and check for their names. Of course this applies to Oklahoma Cherokees and Seminoles. The Blackfeet people are out of Montana, and never really left that area. If you are Cherokee and Seminole, it's doubtful you are Blackfoot.

    Source(s): Black Indian Genealogy Research by Angela Walton-Raji and
  • 1 decade ago

    Lesson #1 for any beginning researcher is that documentation isn't sad.. it is the absolute foundation for genealogy. Without records, you can only go back so far as someone's memories, or family traditions... and in many cases, those are fallible, if not outright false.

    Once you take a bit of time to start finding the records, you will be amazed to learn how many records are out there, that you never had any awareness of. While some family information is subject to error.. other times, the records not only support it, but expand on it, 100 times. I would much rather depend on records to back up what has been said, than rely on a belief. That is NOT a "slam" on your pride, but only to help distinguish between solid research and beliefs that can be unreliable.

    How to handle is absolutely simple... shift to the idea of doing research. That's what genealogy is. is one place to browse what kind of resources there are, and also a number of tutorials on the process. Jump on in... the water is fine, and it really can be fun.

  • 1 decade ago

    We may be related, You don't hear to much about the Blackfoot, which we are part of. As well as Iroquois, and some Cherokee. The Cherokee were forced to march into Canada which later became known as the "Trail of Tears" because so many Indians were lost during that long winter march. My family immigrated from France to Canada. My cousin spent15 yrs looking up or genealogy and it is fascinating. You should begin your search in Canada. You have to start with the most recent generation, you, and work your way back. My cousin actually went back 1,000 yrs. We have a huge book that he wrote, with pictures and drawings, log entries from ships that sailed to different countries. One of our ancestors was called the "Joan of Arc" of Montreal because of how she kept the nasty Iroquois away from their fort. I wish I could let you read it, it is so fascinating. Sorry to get off on that, but do what my cousin did. Start with what you know and work from there. It will take a while, but it is worth it. Hope you find what your looking for. I shouldn't have said to start in Canada, but I think that's where you will end up because many survivors of that march, stayed in Canada. The girl that answered before me is wrong. I am part Blackfoot, as well as the others I mentioned, Most of them may have been from Montana, but ended up in Canada. I know because I have the history on them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have Indian friends for over 58 years, the cash bit is a rumor. There is no cash to be had from being a Native American. Roots, go to you are from will decide what records were kept. In the East as in Va, and up the records were very sparce and many lost during the war.

  • 1 decade ago

    Since your mother knows that this is in your lineage, sit down with her and write down everything she knows. Find out names, dates of birth/marriage/death, places. Then go out and find the records that substantiate your link to these people. You'll need certified copies of everything. Keep going until you find that person who was a member of that tribe. Then you need to find that person on the Dawes Roll for the Cherokee line, and in the tribal registry for the Blackfoot and Seminole lines.

    Once you have the proof, there are a slew of forms that you have to fill out. Doubt that you'll ever see "money". The tribes are not happy about all of the "long lost" members crawling out of the woodwork. We've seen plenty of proof of that even on here where researchers are finding tribes that have closed membership to anyone over the age of 3 and who are trying to remove longtime members from their roles.

    Be that as it may...Documentation in hand, you also need to contact the BIA for a certfication of your percentage of native blood. And you can only register for one tribe with that document. Then you finalize your membership application with the tribe and hope they accept you. The weaker your claim, the less chance of acceptance. You really need all of your documentation to be meticulous, certified from the original, and clearly in order.

    Hope this helps a little...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't know I am part Cherokee, Creek, Italian, Black Dutch, and Irish. Have you ever noticed that almost everyone that are part Indian; one part is always Cherokee. It just seems funny to me but the Cherokee must have been screwing everybody. If their getting that much no wonder everybody want to be Cherokee.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm Navajo , Blackfoot, and Irish. My grandmother was a full Navajo. I could research more into my history, but because the current generation of my biological family abandoned me, I decided, why bother. I do well enough ;). Still, if you're curious, look into your ancestry,lol

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm mixed with that, too & have no proof-but not the Seminole.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Many people are told they have Indian heritiage. It's mostly exotic family folklore. If you had native American heritage, you would definitely know about it and have proof.

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