Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
The objective of the lesson is to study the history of the Eastern Band
of Cherokee Indians (aka North Carolina Cherokee; Eastern Cherokee Nation; Eastern Band; and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian
Nation); and Cherokee Nation (aka Western Cherokee; Western Band; and Oklahoma Cherokee), with emphasis on Cherokee membership
enrollment requirements and qualifications for both tribes.
Cherokee Indian Reservation, Tribe, or Nation?
While referring to the Cherokee Indians the words tribe and reservation
are often applied, but the more acceptable designation is "Nation" because it denotes equality with its larger neighbor the
United States. Although words and their meanings often evolve over decades, the majority of Eastern and Western Cherokee
members -- but not without debate and controversy -- identify themselves as American Indian (AI) instead of Native
The objective is to assist and provide the reader with Oklahoma
Cherokee Membership and Enrollment Requirements; Cherokee Nation Membership Qualifications; Eastern Cherokee Tribal
Enrollment process; Oklahoma Cherokee Indian Benefits; Oklahoma Cherokee and North Carolina Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian
Blood Quantum (blood percentage) required for Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB); basic
differences in Membership Requirements for Eastern and Western Cherokee Nations; specific membership entitlements
and benefits for both Eastern and Western Cherokee Indian reservations, such as cash allotments from the Eastern Cherokee
Indians; Native American (American Indian or "AI") Minority Rights; question and answer session for proving Cherokee
blood, researching genealogy and ancestry for tribal enrollment (Dawes and Baker rolls for example), and completing the membership
application; what is needed to prove Cherokee lineage according to current tribal requirements; how much Cherokee money
will I receive as well as any housing, educational and hospital benefits; question and answer session related to Cherokee
customs, cultures, traditions, Qualla Boundary, North Carolina Cherokee and Indian Removal Acts, Treaty of New Echota, Cherokee
Removal, Trail of Tears, and the forced removal and results on the majority of Cherokee from North Carolina, Georgia,
Tennessee, and Alabama to Oklahoma Indian Territory, the home of present-day Cherokee Nation.
Are you ready to get the facts to prove your Cherokee Blood Degree and then
complete the application for tribal membership? Take notes, better yet bookmark, because now we will endeavor to
prove that you meet the Cherokee Indian Nation Enrollment Qualifications and Requirements for Membership as well
as establishing North Carolina Cherokee Membership. See also Cherokee Membership and Cherokee Enrollment Requirements and Qualifications (Official).
Today’s Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are direct descendants of the Cherokee Indians who avoided the Indian Removal Act and the "Trail of Tears."
In 1838, the Federal Government forced most Cherokees west into what is now Oklahoma. The Eastern
Band of Cherokee Indians trace their descendancy from about 1,000 Cherokees who managed to elude this forced removal. About
300 of these claimed US citizenship; the rest were living in Tennessee and North Carolina towns or hiding in the mountains.
Through the 1840s, federal agents searched the mountains in attempts to remove the refugees
to Oklahoma. In 1848, the US Congress agreed to recognize the NC Cherokees' rights if the state recognized them as permanent
residents. In 1866, the state of North Carolina formally recognized the band, and in 1889 finally granted it a state charter.
In 1925, tribal lands were finally placed into federal trust to ensure that they will forever remain in Cherokee possession.
These lands include 52 tracts which total 56,688 acres scattered across five North Carolina
counties (Cherokee, Graham, Jackson, Macon & Swain). Most of this land is known as the Qualla Boundary. All lands are held in common by the Tribe, with possessory holdings issued to individuals. Reservation population is 6,311,
and tribal enrollment includes more than 12,000 members. Towns within the boundary include Big Cove, Birdtown, Paintown, Snowbird,
Wolftown and Yellowhill. See also Cherokee Indian Tribal Enrollment and Membership Requirements:
The Qualifications for the Cherokee Tribe.
Claiming Your Cherokee Heritage
Claiming your Cherokee heritage is not unlike claiming your Scots-Irish, Dutch, English, German,
Italian, Flemish, etc. heritage. You do the research, find the documents, and prove your ancestry. Then you are entitled to
say, "my grandparent was a Cherokee," thus claiming your heritage.
Applying for tribal membership is altogether different. Remember, the Eastern Band of
the Cherokee is a nation, the same way that the U.S.A., France, Italy and Germany are nations. An application for tribal
enrollment is really an application for citizenship in another nation. Consequently, the requirements are specific
and quite strict.
Tribal Enrollment Information--Eastern Band
To be eligible for enrollment with the
Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian, an applicant must:
Enrollment in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is governed by tribal ordinance
#284 dated June 24, 1996, and restricts enrollment to the following:
Direct lineal ancestor must appear on the 1924 Baker Roll of the Eastern
Band of Cherokee Indians. (Note: The Baker Roll is the base roll of the Eastern Cherokee and contains the name, birth
date, Eastern Cherokee Blood quantum and roll number of the base enrollees.)
Must possess at least 1/16th degree of Eastern Cherokee blood
All criteria must be met in order to be eligible with the Eastern Band of Cherokee
Enrollment is CLOSED to all people who cannot meet the above requirements.
For further information, contact the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian Enrollment Office at
(828) 497-7000, fax: (828) 497-2952, or write Eastern Band of the Cherokee, P.O. Box 455, Cherokee, NC 28719.
Tribal Enrollment Information--Western Band
To be enrolled
by the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, an applicant must first prove ancestry to a person enrolled by Dawes. (Dawes Roll 1898-1914.)
Additional requirements may be obtained by writing to: Cherokee Nation, Tribal Registrar, P.O. Box 948, Tahlequah, OK
See also How Much Money do Cherokee Indians Receive and
How to Receive Cherokee Money: The Membership Qualifications and Requirements.
Copyright © 2004-2007 by Dee Gibson-Roles. All Rights Reserved.
(See also related reading below.)
Are you Cherokee?
you the individual that has always been told that you are a Cherokee, but have no facts or records to prove it? To claim Cherokee
membership means that you must prove it – you must have the facts, so toss the doubt away, get the facts, and claim
what is rightfully your heritage by blood quantum. Now, are you ready to prove that you are a Cherokee? It’s not difficult
if you take the time to locate the facts. Below are proven resources for tracing your family genealogy, the family tree, roots,
bloodline, and for researching your ancestors to prove that you meet the blood requirements (qualifications) for Cherokee
membership and tribal enrollment. Those that qualify as “American Indians are American Indians” and are entitled
to the rights and benefits of the tribe! Below is a proven “how to dos” written by the foremost expert in
Cherokee history, genealogy and heritage. Cherokee membership is not like joining a gym or paying dues, it’s your blood,
so claim it. Are you remotely interested in knowing that you are a “Cherokee Indian” or are you the individual
that enjoys genealogy? Do you want to locate and preserve your Native American ancestry? Finding information about ancestors
for genealogy and heritage is also a lot of fun. Moreover, you are preserving your own family history and heritage with your
relatives and loved ones for generations and generations… Take a look below at exactly what is required to locate and
organize and present your information to prove that you meet the qualifications as a member of the Cherokee tribe. Cherokee
Proud, by Tony McClure, is referred to as the "Bible for Cherokee Genealogy." Cherokee Proud
has also been rated a SOLID FIVE STARS by every person that has read and rated it. To see if you meet the 'Cherokee qualification
and requirement for membership', then look no further -- purchase Cherokee Proud. Read the reviews below and
see what people and organizations are saying about it.
Cherokee Proud, Second Edition, by Tony Mack McClure. Description: Absolutely the "Bible" of Cherokee
Genealogy. New, 336 pages, 2nd Edition. If the information in this remarkable new book doesn't lead a person to proof of their
Cherokee roots, nothing can! “It is an A-to-Z on organizing and locating the requirements / qualifications for membership.”
"Cherokee Proud is the very
best book I have ever seen on tracing Cherokee genealogy." -- RICHARD PANGBURN, acclaimed author of Indian Blood, Vol. I &
II found in most libraries
"McClure unabashedly loosens
his journalistic standards for portions of this book which reach him too emotionally. Understood. Fascinating and enlightening."
BACK COVER: Among the people
of this country are individuals in whose blood runs the proud heritage of a noble and resilient people whose ways and talents
rank with the finest civilizations the world has known. They are the " Tsalagi ". . . the Cherokee. This book will help you
learn if you are one of them. -- BOOK READER
"The contents of Cherokee
Proud are exceptional - valuable information that can be used by so many readers and researchers who have Native American
(Cherokee) ancestry." -- DON SHADBURN, Famous Georgia historian and noted author of Unhallowed Intrusion and Cherokee Planters
"This Cherokee guide is
the best yet!" -- LAWTON CONSTITUTION
the Author: Well known and acclaimed Cherokee author Dr. Tony Mack McClure, a native of Tennessee, is a certified
member of the Native American Journalists Association, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and Committeeman
for the Tennessee Chapter of the National Trail of Tears Association. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, over 250
newspapers, on all major television networks and many cable systems.
in Researching Your Genealogy and Heritage:
Reading: Footsteps of the Cherokees:
A Guide to the Eastern Homelands of the Cherokee Nation. Description:
Footsteps of the Cherokees divides the Cherokees' eastern homeland into 19
geographical sections and explores many of the historic Cherokee sites in these areas. Sites range from Moccasin Bend in Chattanooga, inhabited by Cherokees and earlier Indian cultures and considered one of the most important
archaeological complexes within a United States
city, to the Qualla Boundary, the home of the Eastern Cherokee reservation, where visitors can still experience the historic
Cherokee culture. For each site, Rozema gives historical background, directions to the site, and the hours of operation and
telephone numbers if the site is located within a park or museum area. The book also includes an overview of Cherokee history
that sets the stage for the tours of the historic sites. Continued below...
About the Author: Vicki Rozema is the editor of Cherokee Voices: Early Accounts of Cherokee Life in the
East and Voices from the Trail of Tears (see page 15). She is currently working on a Ph.D. in early American history with
a specialization in Cherokee history at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, but she still maintains a home near Chattanooga.
Reading: The Cherokee Nation: A History. Description:
Conley's book, "The Cherokee Nation: A History"
is an eminently readable, concise but thoughtful account of the Cherokee people from prehistoric times to the present day.
The book is formatted in such a way as to make it an ideal text for high school and college classes. At the end of each chapter
is a source list and suggestions for further reading. Also at the end of each chapter is an unusual but helpful feature- a
glossary of key terms. The book contains interesting maps, photographs and drawings, along with a list of chiefs for the various
factions of the Cherokee tribe and nation. Continued
to being easily understood, a principal strength of the book is that the author questions some traditional beliefs and sources
about the Cherokee past without appearing to be a revisionist or an individual with an agenda in his writing. One such example
is when Conley tells the story of Alexander Cuming, an Englishman who took seven Cherokee men with him to England
in 1730. One of the Cherokee, Oukanekah, is recorded as having said to the King of England: "We look upon the Great King George
as the Sun, and as our Father, and upon ourselves as his children. For though we are red, and you are white our hands and
hearts are joined together..." Conley wonders if Oukanekah actually said those words and points out that the only version
we have of this story is the English version. There is nothing to indicate if Oukanekah spoke in English or Cherokee, or if
his words were recorded at the time they were spoken or were written down later. Conley also points out that in Cherokee culture,
the Sun was considered female, so it is curious that King George would be looked upon as the Sun. The "redness" of Native
American skin was a European perception. The Cherokee would have described themselves as brown. But Conley does not overly
dwell on these things. He continues to tell the story using the sources available. The skill of Conley in communicating his
ideas never diminishes. This book is highly recommended as a good place to start the study of Cherokee history. It serves
as excellent reference material and belongs in the library of anyone serious about the study of Native Americans.
Researching Cherokee Indian Family Lineage
Genealogy, Ancestry, History, Heritage, Folklore Myths, Culture, Customs, Chief William H. Thomas: Cherokee Indian Agent to
Washington, President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief Yonaguska, Cherokee Chief Junaluska, Principal Chief of the Cherokee
Nation John Ross, Cherokee Indian Nation Oklahoma, Cherokee Chief Stand Watie Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Cherokee Chief
Nimrod Jarrett Smith Obituary, Sequoyah: Legendary Creator of the Cherokee Syllabary (Alphabet), Tsali: Cherokee Hero and
Legend The Trail of Tears History, Squirrel: First American Indian to Completely Manufacture a Firearm, History of the Cherokee Indians, Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and
Beliefs, Cherokee Chief Nimrod Jarrett Smith Obituary, History of
Cherokee County, North Carolina, Cherokee Indians and the American