Minnesota Chippewa Tribe citizens vote to remove blood requirement for membership
The seminal referendum acts as a guide for tribal leaders, who will now decide whether to ask voters to amend the tribe's constitution
July 27, 2022
DULUTH - Citizens of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe have weighed in on the decades-old question of whether tribal blood should be a requirement to belong, and the answer is a definitive "no."
The MCT announced recently that about 65% of voters say the blood quantum requirement should be removed as a prerequisite to membership of the tribe, made up of six reservations. Nearly 60% say each reservation - Fond du Lac, Mille Lacs, Bois Forte, Grand Portage, White Earth and Leech Lake - should be allowed to determine its own enrollment requirements.
Less than a quarter of the tribe's roughly 32,500 eligible voters took part in this summer's seminal vote, which was meant to gauge whether tribal leaders should hold a binding referendum that could result in a constitutional amendment. The tribe's controversial constitution, forced upon them by the federal government more than 60 years ago, dictates its citizenship, rights, elections and governing body.