Citizenship


Cherokee Nation citizenship does not require a specific blood quantum. It does require that you have at least one direct Cherokee 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.

To be eligible for a federal Certificate Degree of Indian Blood and Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship, you must be able to provide documents that connect you to a direct ancestor listed on the Dawes Final Rolls of Citizens of the Cherokee Nation with a blood degree. This roll was taken between 1899-1906 of Citizens and Freedmen residing in Indian Territory (now northeastern Oklahoma) prior to Oklahoma statehood in 1907. If your ancestor did not live in this area during that specific time period, they will not be listed on the Dawes Rolls.

Many applicants do not qualify for CDIB/Citizenship as their ancestors did not meet the enrollment requirements of the Dawes Commission and 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/Tribal Citizenship are issued through natural parents. In adoption cases, CDIB/Citizenship 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/Citizenship card.
  • If no one in the family has received CDIB/Citizenship, attach ORIGINAL STATE CERTIFIED DOCUMENTS (BIRTH/DEATH) CERTIFICATES beginning with the applicant back to the enrollee.
  • If your 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 CDIB/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/decision.

    Processing time may vary. The Registration Department does not provide research services. You can do research on your computer or contact your local library for access to a computer to do your research on the internet:

    You can access the "DAWES ROLLS" at: www.archives.gov

    General Contact
    registration@cherokee.org  918-458-6980 OR 1-800-256-0671