Frequently Asked Questions



Miscellaneous Frequently Asked Questions

How much Cherokee am I?

The amount of Cherokee or other tribe that a person carries from their ancestry is called a blood quantum. Blood quantum is expressed in fractions, with 4/4 often being referred to as a “full blood” person. Each successive generation combines the blood quantum of two parents, then divides in half. Blood quantum is only assigned to those who have verified, legal documentation of their ancestry, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Upon tribal citizenship in the Cherokee Nation, a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card is issued through the BIA, stating the person’s blood quantum. For Cherokee Nation citizens, a blood quantum is computed from the nearest direct ancestor on the Dawes Rolls. Blood quantum listings on the Dawes Rolls of Cherokee Nation range from 4/4 down to 1/256.

Can you do my genealogy?

The Cherokee Nation doesn't do genealogy or family history research for the public. However, there are many places that will. Many other locations for information on genealogical research may be found on the internet. The Cherokee Heritage Center also has genealogists available to assist people in researching their Cherokee ancestry for a fee. You can reach them at 918-456-6007 or by visiting their website at www.cherokeeheritage.org

Do Cherokee Nation citizens get checks (per capita money) every month?

No. However, a tribal citizen may receive tribal services paid for by federal funds, federal grants or Cherokee Nation-generated dollars. While there are a few Native American tribes across the United States that have chosen to disburse business revenue directly to their citizens, Cherokee Nation has chosen instead to invest our revenue to help educate, employ and assist Cherokee Nation citizens. This assistance is available through a multitude of avenues including tribal health care, housing, water and sanitation, roads, law enforcement, jobs, elder services, scholarships, and many other programs.

Is my Cherokee ancestor’s land somewhere waiting for me to claim it?

Strictly speaking, there is no unclaimed or unaccounted for Cherokee allotment land from the Dawes era. If your ancestor received an allotment, there are a number of reasons why it might no longer be in your family. The land varied in acreage size and in location. Sometimes an allottee received land in up to four different counties, but most commonly in at least in two. It is possible that your ancestor's land could still be in the name of the original allottee. The land could have been sold by the original allottee, just as each of us may buy or sell land today. The land may have been lost to adverse possession as provided by state law.

I need legal help. Will Cherokee Nation provide me with an attorney?

Cherokee Nation is not able to provide legal assistance for individual citizens.