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.
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.
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
If your ancestor did not live in this geographical area
during that time period, they will not be listed on the Dawes Rolls.
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
A parent or legal guardian may complete and sign the
application/ancestry chart for minor child applicants and provide the following
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
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
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:
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
may visit the following website:
access the DAWES ROLLS at:
(fee may be required)
General Contact for the Cherokee Nation Registration Office
firstname.lastname@example.org 918-458-6980 OR 1-800-256-0671