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Native officials: Using blood quantum to determine citizenship is problematic

RENO, Nev. — The issue of using blood quantum to determine tribal membership is a sticky one for Native American tribes.

Blood quantum is used to define bloodlines and ancestral heritage as a basis for tribal enrollment and citizenship. It's an important issue for the Federal government, since enrollment identifies Indians as members of a federally recognized tribe, and many tribes receive different benefits based on the size of their enrollments. Today there are more than 500 federally recognized Indian tribes in the contiguous U.S. and Alaska. These tribes often receive funding and services through the Bureau of Indian Affairs through compacts, grants and contracts.


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