Tag Archives: one-drop rule

Native + Native ≠ Native?

How is it possible for the offspring of two native Americans to be anything but native American?

During the time Dawes Rolls were instituted, Blood Quantum laws were being used to determine who was native enough to be included in one of the Five Civilized Tribes.  Some natives were excluded because they didn’t have enough blood of one tribe to be included on their registry.  As crazy as this may sound, those who were mixed with several different tribes were only allowed to enroll in one tribe.  So, instead of adding up their blood quantum to be included, they could only claim the portion for the tribe they chose.

For example, if someone had 100% native blood, but from four different tribes, they could only claim 1/4 blood from one of the tribes.  If that tribe required 1/2 degree blood quantum, then the native was excluded.  As with the One-Drop Rule, these laws excluded many natives from tribal affiliation, thereby stripping them of their heritage and rights.

Know Better:
Blood Quantum Laws – wikipedia.org
Who is More Choctaw Than Another – freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Do Better:
Know that these laws I’ve been blogging about were put into place for a reason.  That reason was to take away the identity of the coppered-colored races of people the Europeans found here.  Taking away the identity made it easier for them to take over the land.  It is imperative for you to research your ancestry so you’ll know who you are.

Native + African = Black

The One-Drop Rule was established during the late 1800s and early 1900s, when racial classification laws were being passed.  Under this rule, anyone with one drop of African blood was classified as Black.

During that period, it was not uncommon for native Americans to form bonds with Africans, called Negroes.  According to the One-Drop Rule, the child of a Native American and a Negro would be classified as Black.  As harmless as this “label” may have seemed, it excluded many natives from tribal affiliation, thereby stripping them of their heritage and rights.

Know Better:
Blacklisted Native Americans – blackindiansunited5tribesembassy.org

Do Better:
For those of you who have started researching your ancestry using census and vital statistics records, you may keep running into the classification of “Black” or “Negro.”  This doesn’t rule out native American ancestry.  It just means at least one of the parents were African.  The other parent could have been from here, so keep digging.  This is where retrieving oral stories from elder relatives becomes important.  When I interviewed my relatives, I was surprised to find out how many of the grandmothers were so-called Indian.