What Percentage of Native American Do You Have To Be To Enroll With a Tribe?

What Percentage of Native American Do You Have To Be To Enroll With a Tribe?

Posted By PowWow Articles January 8th, 2018 Last Updated on: October 7th, 2021

What percentage of Native American blood do you need to be in a tribe? And how much American Indian blood is required to be considered Native American?

Native ancestry is a nuanced topic. Many people with Native American ties often wonder whether they have enough American Indian blood or a strong enough Native heritage to be considered for tribal enrollment.

But how do you know for sure? We'll break it down for you here.

Native Americans are the people who contain blood one of the more than 500 distinguished tribes that still endure as sovereign states within the United States’ present geographical boundaries. These are the Native American tribes that descended from the pre-Colombian indigenous peoples of North America.

Related Info – Native American Ancestry — What % of Native American am I?

For a person to be considered Native American by the United States government, they must either have a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card or be enrolled in a tribe.

A CDIB card is issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) an agency under the United States Department of Interior. This certificate (CDIB) is the basis most tribes use to enroll tribal members.

Related Info – What Native American tribe am I from?

The CDIB is an official U.S. document used to certify that a person does possess a percentage of Native American blood and therefore has legitimate Native ancestry. Note though, the blood must be identified with a federally recognized Native American tribe.


The Bureau of Indian Affairs issues the certificate after the individual has forwarded a finalized genealogy. The genealogy must be submitted with legal documents that include birth certificates, documents showing the applicant’s descents both from the maternal and the paternal sides.

Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card issued to Morris Phillip Konstantin (Phil Konstantin) in 1996. It shows him to be 3/16ths Cherokee by blood.

A Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood shows the constituent blood degree of a particular tribe or that of all tribes in the applicant’s ancestry. The percentage required by each tribe to enroll varies. Some tribes require that a minimum degree must be met before granting membership to an individual.

Related Info – DNA Results vs. Tribal Enrollment vs. Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood — What Do They All Mean?

Interestingly, even the federal government requires that you meet a certain minimum before granting Native Americans federal benefits.

To give you an example, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians require a minimum of 1/16 degree of Cherokee Indian blood for tribal enrollment, while the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Higher Education Grant expects you to have the minimum of 1/4 Native American blood percentages.

That means 25% of your blood is of Native American ancestry.

Tribal Blood Quantum Calculator and Requirements

A Blood Quantum Calculator can also be helpful in certain instances. This will help you zero in on the origin of your American Indian heritage. where here you got the Native American heritage from. The calculations are translated as:

For instance, if you are 50% Native Ameican or half blood quantum, that means you have one parent who's of direct American Indian lineage / Half Blooded Quantum meaning One Parent

If you are 25% American Indian or one-quarter blood quantum, that means you have one grandparent who's of direct Native American lineage. 

The same conversion rate applies as you go further down the line. If you are 12.5% American Indian or one-eighth blood quantum, you have one great-grandparent.

If you are 6.25% or one-sixteenth blood quantum, you have one great-great grandparent, and so on. 

Read more about Blood Quantum laws here.

50 Percent / One-Half Blood Quantum (One Parent)

Kialegee Tribal Town
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi
St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
White Mountain Apache Tribe, Arizona
Yomba Shoshone Tribe, Utah

25 Percent / One-Fourth Blood Quantum (One Grandparent)

Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Native American Indians
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Washington
Oneida Tribe of Indians, Wisconsin
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Arizona
Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Kansas
Navajo Nation, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico
Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, North and South Dakota
Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe, California
Havasupai-Prescott Tribe, Arizona
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Oklahoma
Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Montana
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York, Canada

Related Info: Native American Ancestry — Start Your Family History Search

12.5 Percent / One-Eighth Blood Quantum (One Great-Grandparent)

Apache Tribe, Oklahoma
Comanche Nation, Oklahoma
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma
Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Reservation, Oregon
Fort Sill Apache Tribe, Oklahoma
Karuk Tribe, California
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe of the Muckleshoot Reservation, Washington
Northwestern Band of Shoshoni Nation of Utah (Washakie)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Native American Indians, Oklahoma
Pawnee Nation, Oklahoma
Ponca Nation, Oklahoma
Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma
Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska
Squaxin Island Tribe of the Squaxin Island Reservation, Washington
Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation, Washington
Three Affiliated Native American Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe of Washington
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (Wichita, Keechi, Waco and Tawakonie)

6.25 Percent / One-Sixteenth Blood Quantum (One Great-Great-Grandparent)

Caddo Nation
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon
Fort Sill Apache Tribe
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina
Pow Wow Calendar Update

Lineal Native American Descent

Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town
Cherokee Nation
Chickasaw Nation
Choctaw Nation
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Delaware Tribe of Indians
Eastern Shawnee Tribe
Kaw Nation
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Connecticut
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
Modoc Tribe
Muscogee Creek Nation
Osage Nation
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma
Peoria Tribe of Indians
Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan
Seminole Nation
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma
Shawnee Tribe
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town
Tonkawa Tribe
Wyandotte Nation

(List courtesy NativeVillage.org)

Curious about Native American ancestry?

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TAGGED:    cdib    dna    genealogy    native ancestry    starthere  
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Wendy Williams

I don’t see the Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska here 🤔🙄


I was told I am part Choctaw but at my age of 72 it does not matter and married a part Cherokee man, my enemy! lol

Brenna Garcia

I wish we would start calling ourselves Nations again. We were never tribes, if I’m not mistaken it’s what Columbus called the different Nations because he was ignorant. We were our Nation, Human beings, descendants of this land. I’m just tired of it, just like I’m not Latina,Hispanic, terms given to put us in a box to help them understand how they will regard us.

Brenna Garcia

What about Nations that aren’t Federally recognized? Ya know there’s not enough of you left after the genocide so we’re not going to recognize you. You can’t get any benefits that other Nations are entitled to either. As a Shasta, once registered, and Wintu descendent, I am also Tarascan from Mexico. I was told there’s no point in registering with the BIA because of this lack of recognition. My Grandmother is in the Shasta Nation Book registered with the library of Congress. This so disheartening.

Jennifer Clavell

Discovered 15% indigenous central American Guatemala
7% taino native Puerto Rico 2% indigenous Andies 1%cuban indigenous 1% eastern south America. I want to claim my Taino ancestry how can I do this

sadena samayoa

my husaband is from guatemala and i have friends who are full native from guatemala it is hard to speak with them since they speak no spanish i have one of ther kids or husband translate and he barley speaks spanish. it is awsome my husband could have some native blood but we are not sure

Mary Helen

According to Ancestry.com testing, I am 47% Native American. I found where my grandfathers grandfather is registered on Indian census as 100% Native American with the Laguna tribe in NM. How would I check to see if I would qualify to become a member or who do I contact?

chris torrez

I just recently did the DnaAncestry and i came back 60 percent Indigeious. My dad says he has Lipan Apache. but im Trying to figure out what i do next. I would love to get my tribe card. but i dont know the Steps of how to do it. Could someone please help me. My email is [email protected]. thank you for taking you time reading this.

Brenna Garcia

You have to go directly to the Nation you believe that you are affiliated with and request the application that they have for their members . They will require proof and you just ask them how they would like it completed, or how is this proof typically provided?


I discovered that I have 15% indigenous Puerto Rico (Taino) and 1% of Indigenous Eastern South America. I Just wanted to contribute to the thread.

A. Upchurch

Will a DNA test be enough proof to change my birth certificate? I’m in NC.I don’t know much about the people in my father’s side. He had always called himself and his children white, due to the discrimination of the Cherokee and other Native Americans being bad when he was growing up. He didn’t share much about his parents, especially his father after he abandon him, 13 siblings and his mother. I found out that we were Cherokee from cousins. Years later, my family went to Cherokee, NC in the mountains and my son pointed out a man and said hey, he looks just like your dad! Our last name was Hicks. I see it is a common last name for Cherokees. I’ve searched on all the rolls, I’ve been searching off and on for years to find his dad or his grandmother, but always come up empty. My parents both died in the past 2 years. I ‘be always respected his wish that we were “White”, but now that he is gone I want to reclaim my ancestry. Sorry so long. Unfortunately, my family members do not feel as enthusiastic as I am so I seldom get the chance to talk about this Thank you!

Carolyn Swann Preston Taylor

My grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee Indian. I’m not sure about my grandfather. My father truly looks Indian.

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