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Citizenship


    Cherokee Nation citizenship law is set by tribal law. There is no minimum blood quantum required for citizenship. Tribal citizenship requires that you have at least one direct ancestor listed on the Dawes Final Rolls, a federal census of those living in the Cherokee Nation that was used to allot Cherokee land to individual citizens in preparation for Oklahoma statehood in 1907.

    To be eligible for Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship, you must be able to provide documents that connect you to a direct ancestor listed on one of the Dawes Final Rolls of Citizens of the Cherokee Nation. To be eligible for a federal Certificate Degree of Indian Blood, you must demonstrate through documentation that you descend directly from a person listed on the Dawes’ “by Blood” rolls. This group of census rolls were taken between 1899-1906 of Citizens and Freedmen residing in Indian Territory (now northeastern Oklahoma).  If your ancestor did not live in this geographical area during that time period, they will not be listed on the Dawes Rolls.

    Many applicants do not qualify for tribal citizenship or a CDIB as their ancestors did not meet the enrollment requirements of the Dawes Commission and thus were not listed on the Dawes Rolls. Certain requirements had to be met in order to be placed on the Dawes Roll, such as being listed on previous Cherokee rolls and proven residency in the Cherokee Nation. 

    CDIB cards and Tribal Citizenship cards are issued through biological parents. In adoption cases, CDIB and/or citizenship eligibility must be proven through the biological parent to the enrolled ancestor. A copy of the Final Decree of Adoption, and a State Certified, Full Image/Photocopy of the Birth Record must accompany the application. All information will remain confidential. 

    INSTRUCTIONS & RESEARCH REFERRAL: 

    Complete the application/ancestry chart in ink and provide the following documents. 

    A parent or legal guardian may complete and sign the application/ancestry chart for minor child applicants and provide the following documents.

    Attach the ORIGINAL STATE CERTIFIED FULL IMAGE/PHOTOCOPY OF THE BIRTH RECORD of the applicant and a copy of an immediate family member’s CDIB and/or Citizenship card.

    If no one in the family has received Citizenship or a CDIB, attach ORIGINAL STATE CERTIFIED DOCUMENTS (BIRTH/DEATH) CERTIFICATES beginning with the applicant back to the original enrollee ancestor listed on Dawes.

    If your original enrollee ancestor died after 1962, submit the ORIGINAL STATE CERTIFIED DEATH CERTIFICATE. This is needed to assist us in our review.

    Mail the applications and the original documents to the Cherokee Nation Registration Department. Should further information be needed to complete the applications, we will contact you for specific documents. 

    Should we be unable to issue you a CDIB or Citizenship, a letter of explanation will be sent to you by restricted/certified mail. Information on an appeals process will accompany the letter, if you do not agree with our findings and decision. 


    If you need help with your research, please contact the Family Research office at the Cherokee Heritage Center, 918-456-6007, or at the following link: http://www.cherokeeheritage.org.   NOTE: Genealogist assisted research is a fee-based service. The Heritage Center is not able to provide research assistance by phone because of high demand and time involved.

    Also, you may visit the following website: http://guides.tulsalibrary.org/genealogy

    You can access the DAWES ROLLS at: 

    www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalroll.htm

     or www.okhistory.org/research/dawes (fee may be required)

     

           General Contact for the Cherokee Nation Registration Office 
            registration@cherokee.org  918-458-6980 OR 1-800-256-0671