Tribes should protect their Indian bloodline
Today it’s easy to laugh at tribes who enroll those with ridiculously low blood quantum and it seems that everything is being done to be “accommodating” and to make our tribes non-Indian. It takes courage and leadership to take steps to protect our bloodline. Enrollment based on ancestry or descendancy has to be eliminated to keep us from extinction.
It is only right that economic benefits reflect the blood quantum with full bloods receiving the maximum benefits. One who is 1/100th should receive benefits in accordance with this minimal blood. This was a choice by the minimum blood’s ancestors to breed the Indian blood out and to diminish the bloodline.
Accordingly, these descendents should live with the consequences. Instead of “banishing” tribal members, why not raise the blood quantum? As a sovereign, a tribe is within its authority to increase the blood quantum requirements for enrollment. Any real Indian tribe would seriously consider this to preserve the economic resources of the tribe for Indians and it would also encourage tribal members to marry other Indians.
Pretendians--the hostile takeover of tribes
Since the turn of the century and most recently because of the profitability of gaming, it has been economically beneficial for the white man to trace Indian ancestry back a hundred years or so ago to some lone Indian. It’s called “genealogy” research. As I have said before, if a person is 1/100th Indian, they are 99% something other than Indian. Who are they trying to fool? What part of the person is the tribe giving benefits to? The 1% Indian or the 99% non-Indian?
A leader personifies who and what their people are. If a so called “Chief” or “Governor” is 1/100th Indian, who is he or she representing? Will his or her loyalty be to the majority of his or her ancestry? Think very carefully about who you elect and the requirements for leadership positions. Do you have an Indian Chief or Custer representing you?
I recall my Grandfather’s words of caution, “Never trust a white man. He’ll choose frog skins over redskins every time.” As a lawyer, I know this to be true. When tribes contract with non-Indian lawyers to represent them in court, the Indian always seems to come up on the losing or the “settlement” side.
It is a great injustice when a person can go back 100 years to find the “Indian in the cupboard” or use DNA testing to push their way onto tribal rolls. This will eventually be the undoing of tribes who allow this. Mark my words.
Taking Wambli to task
Someone named James responded on Facebook:
While I'll agree that being 1/100th anything is pretty dubious, not every mixed blood of substantially more ancestry is out for nefarious purposes. The whole idea of "Indian" is really just a agglomeration of literally hundreds, if not thousands of separate cultures in the same way that say, Italians and Swedes are "white." Mixing of different cultures is not just the American way, but the human way. If prehistoric people's of the Americas had never mixed, we would not have the tribes we have today. Similarly, the cultures of Europe and Asia were largely formed by the mixing of various peoples. I'm surprised that her son, a Lakota, is making a Shawnee lodge. Does she not see the irony? The truth is that we are all the human race.
John Ross vs. Major Ridge
Possibly the best example of this was Cherokee chief John Ross:
Apply these standards to everyone whether they have the "blood" or not. Americans have to pay taxes, sit on juries, serve in the military if drafted, etc. This would be the tribal equivalent of that.
For a couple of people who seconded Wambli's conclusions, I wrote:
For more on the subject, see Thoughts on IndiVisible, WNBA Drafts 1st "Full-Blooded" Native, and Indian Identity Matters to Indians.
Below: John Ross, Cherokee principal chief and 7/8 white by blood.