Publish date:

Blood quantum, Indigenous identity

Today's show includes the topic talked about more and more: blood quantum. Plus, younger generations of Alaska Natives are dealing with identity issues as the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act approaches.

Like any nation, tribal nations decide who can be a citizen. It sounds pretty straightforward, however, for tribal leaders the decision weighs heavy because so many tribes have a blood quantum requirement.

What happens when the bloodline is diluted?

The Boise Forte Band of Chippewa in Minnesota is dealing with that issue right now. They, along with five other bands of Anishinaabe that include White Earth, Mille Lacs, Grand Portage and Fond du Lac, form the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

The people call themselves Anishinaabe, it was the French who gave them the name Chippewa.

Joining us today is Cathy Chavers, the tribal chair of the Boise Forte Band of Chippewa. She’s the current president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Plus ICT's Meghan Sullivan discusses her latest reporting on younger generations of Alaska Natives.

A slice of our Indigenous world: 

  • The 2020 Census numbers are out and the Native population is up by 86 percent.
  • Indian Health Service staff are now required to receive vaccinations against the coronavirus.
  • 2020 was supposed to be the Year of the Shawnee language as declared by the tribe, but then COVID-19 hit and almost derailed the plans.
  • The Sealaska Heritage Institute held a homecoming ceremony to welcome back a collection of sacred objects.
  • North Dakota’s University of Mary is receiving nearly three million dollars to help Native American students interested in the field of education. 
  • The Bolivian government held a ceremony for a mummified Incan girl who has finally been returned to her home. 

Indian Country Today - bridge logo

Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.

Indian Country Today is a nonprofit news organization. Will you support our work? All of our content is free. There are no subscriptions or costs. And we have hired more Native journalists in the past year than any news organization ─ and with your help we will continue to grow and create career paths for our people. Support Indian Country Today for as little as $10.