Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Changes Tribal Membership Criteria

Here is the news coverage. An excerpt:

A deeply divided Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council has voted to change the requirements to become a member of the Tribe.

In a 6 to 5 vote, the council voted to tighten the source of the Indian blood quantum requirement for members.

The Tribe’s constitution, adopted in 1986, requires that members be descended from a person on one of three lists compiled in the 19th century, or from a Tribal base role compiled in 1982, plus be at least one-quarter “Indian blood.”

The constitution does not, however, define what is meant by Indian blood.

Early version of the Tribe’s enrollment ordinance also left it largely undefined, and it was interpreted to mean descent from most North American indigenous people. The council then tightened that to define it as descent from a member of any federally recognized Tribe.

The newest version, adopted at a special session of the Tribal Council Oct. 26, specifies that only “Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan” blood counts toward the one-quarter Indian blood.

“Tribal Council finds that the current definition of ‘Indian blood’ provided in (the enrollment ordinance) is overly broad and inconsistent with the constitution,” said the resolution adopting the revised law. “The Tribal Council finds that blood inherited from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan is the only blood directly relevant to membership under the constitution of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.”

Under the old law, for example, a child born to a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal member with one-fourth Indian blood and a full-blooded member of the federally recognized Navajo Nation would qualify for membership. By most reckonings, that child would have five-eighths Indian blood quantum.

Under the new law, that child would not qualify as a Saginaw Chippewa.

This entry was posted in Author: Adrea Korthase, Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Michigan Indian, News, Tribal Codes, tribal constitutions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Changes Tribal Membership Criteria

  1. Harold Monteau says:


  2. samara schwartz says:

    I am grandaughter of marie ann moses mother of larry lee schwartz.every1 of my fathers family but him,who was killed when i was little was in the process of sighning up for membrship when his passing occured at that time my brothers and i were young we had no clue growing up in a white world we heard things of our membership but our mother never wanted us to be who we were.we have tryed to pick up where our father left off before he died.our name will die with him and we will forever be lost.we would appreciate ANY help to prevent this from happening.megwetch samara,chris,justin schwartz.989.9O7.1857

  3. samara schwartz says:

    I am chippewa swan creek and black father died when i was 8 yrs he was grandmother was marie ann father was not a member every1 but my mother is indian.we are not ”qaulified” to be “reconized” for who we are? my ancestors blood runs thru our veins just as strong!! hear me my chiefs our hearts are sick and sad:,we will never give up we will be heard!!!!

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