I beg to differ. The criteria for blood quantum was set BY the federal government in 1934 under the Indian Reorganization Act. In this law, tribes which chose to abide under this act MUST accept blood quota criteria in order to be eligible for federal funding through the BIA in regards to health services, law enforcement, and educational services. The recommended minimum set forth by the federal government was at least 25% of Native blood, or 1/4th. However, tribes were given the right to set the minimum of blood quota as they saw fit; which is why until recently some tribes, like the Cherokee in Oklahoma, accepted blood quota of 1/8th.Any tribes which refused to accept these terms were not to be federally recognized and would fall under the term 'state reservations', and be denied such federal funding under the IRA of 1934. How do I know this to be true? Well, for one, my degree of study in college was Native American Studies/ History. And for two, I am Haudenosaunee: Seneca, turtle clan. Out of the three Seneca reservations currently in NY only the Seneca Nation of Indians of the Allegheny Seneca Reservation in Salamanca, NY accepted IRA criteria and are therefore federally recognized, and receive funds through the BIA. The other two, Tonawanda and Cattaraugus, refused, on the grounds that A)we would never allow, nor give a foreign occupying power the right to determine who we are as a people, nor allow them to set how we would determine such persons as members within our nations. Futhermore, blood criteria was NEVER a traditional means of determining membership in our nations; in fact, not ONE tribe in the entire western hemisphere has such a criteria historically, in a traditional sense. For the Haudenosaunee. you are who your mother is, and if that bloodline can be traced in an unbroken matrilineal lineage no matter by how many generations, you ARE just as much that clan and nation as any 'full-blood'. The fathers didn't count as the men married into her clan, and nation and the children of such a union were considered of her people and clan not his. B) We also refused under the terms set forth under the Jay Treaty of 1794, and the Canandaigua Treaty of 1784, both of which acknowledged the Six Nations Confedracy as a SOVEREIGN nation, and had EQUAL status as a nation with the U.S. , and Great Britain. Therefore, to accept the terms of IRA would abrogate the the guarantees of status as a sovereign nation in its purest form, not as a 'quasi-domestic sovereign nation within the boundaries of the United States' as set forth by Marshall Decision of 1834.
And let's look at the implications in detail of blood quota. As set forth in the IRA Act of 1934, a person could only have membership within one tribe, and was only considered a 'full-blood'if BOTH parents were enrolled in the same tribe. If such a person was 1/2 Uintah-Ouray Ute, and 1/2 Shoshone, he or she could only be enrolled in one or the other. So say this person chose to enroll amongst the Utes, he or she would then be enrolled with an official blood quota of...1/2. Now what if this intermarriage continued with other tribes, never mind with other ethnic groups?...Do the math, within two generations, the descendants would no longer be considered eligible for enrollment in ANY tribe, as they would be considered 1/8th, even though genetically they would 100% Native!! I know several people whose fate has fallen within the description I earlier described and they are NOT recognized as 'Indians' by the federal government, even they are technically are 'full-bloods, They have such a mix of tribes in their heritage they dont have enough blood quota for any of them to enroll. And yet you tell me that such a blood quota policy does not further the aims of 'divide and conquer'?...sure it does...logic and experience dictate otherwise... look at what happened on Pine Ridge between 'full-bloods' and 'mixed bloods'in the 60's and 70's. Yet historical accounts are full of descriptions of the old ones whose greatest patriots and resistors of white encroachment were white captives...Blue Jacket of the Shawnee is an example. Mary Jemison of the Seneca is another. Mixed Bloods too have also been great fighters for Native freedom from U.S. tyranny....Quanah Parker comes to mind, Scott Ross of the Cherokee is another. Yet in this modern day people brag of being more indian on the basis of blood quota, and not on the basis of living by a moral code offered within our sacred traditions....how pitifully contemptible. Finally, I am proud to be Haudenosaunee and so grateful that the Grand Council of the Confederacy as a whole has rejected the IRA of 1934. They(the U.S., and the BIA) can keep their dam money; it has too high a price to pay in our integrity as a sovereign people; or as CEO's say, the cost/benefit ratio is too low to be bothered.... Tim(bf of Teresa McCall)