So, Who’s on the Reservations?

I can’t tell you who’s on the reservations today, but I have a pretty good idea why many of them are not copper-colored.

In order to claim Native American status in the United States, one must be a member of a federally recognized tribe.  Federally recognized tribes only accept people who can prove lineage from someone listed on the Dawes Rolls (taken between 1898-1906).  These rolls were taken after the Dawes Act and were considered the final rolls of the five civilized tribes.

The problem with the Dawes Rolls is that it doesn’t include those who decided not to leave their land east of the Mississippi River during the Trail of Tears, it doesn’t include those who refused to be listed on the rolls, and it doesn’t include those who didn’t meet their criteria.  It does, however, include Europeans who intermarried with native Americans as they were being “civilized” by the Europeans.

Know Better:
Dawes Commission Enrollment Records for Five U.S. Indian Tribes –
Beginning of the End of Copper-Colored Natives – previous post on the Trail of Tears
Give Them an Inch and They’ll Take a Mile – previous post on the Dawes Act

Do Better:
There’s a high probability you may not be able to claim Native American status in the United States based on their requirements, but that should not stop you from researching your ancestry to find out who you are.  Once you know for yourself, no one will ever be able to take that away from you (again).  Share what you learn with your family so they’ll know as well.

2 thoughts on “So, Who’s on the Reservations?

  1. This is worthy to sink the research “tooth” into, and bite into the lost truth…
    The limitations of the Dawes Rolls and Dawes Act is interesting by itself and the after-effects.
    A fine rabbit-hole you have entered into.
    Please continue sharing your findings, wishing you success!


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