Find out if you are Cherokee – Learn About Cherokee Genealogy
Many people want to know about becoming a Tribal Member based on a relative being Cherokee or of Cherokee descent. Enrollment in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is governed by Cherokee Code, Chapter 49, Enrollment, and restricts enrollment to the following:
1. A direct lineal ancestor must appear on the 1924 Baker Roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
2. You must possess at least 1/16 degree of Eastern Cherokee blood. Please note. Blood Quantum is calculated from your ancestor listed on the 1924 Baker Roll. No DNA/blood testing is performed or acceptable for this calculation.
3. You must be newborn to three (3) years of age or 18 to 19 years old.
The Enrollment Office provides a Cherokee genealogy research service searching records prior to the 1924 Baker Roll. These records date back to 1835 and enumerate the Eastern Cherokee within the limits of North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. This service does not aid in determining eligibility for enrollment with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a C.D.I.B. Card?
A Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood card is commonly referred to as a CDIB card issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This card certifies the degree of Indian blood.
Can I take a D.N.A test to prove my Cherokee heritage?
Unfortunately DNA testing has not advanced to the point of determining tribal affiliation. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians accepts DNA testing only in regards to the parentage of an applicant.
Can I be a member of two tribes?
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians prohibits dual enrollment.
What is the Indian Child Welfare Act?
The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, 25 U.S.C.§ 1901 et seq, also known as ICWA, states that there are federal standards governing the removal of Indian children from their families and the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes.
The purpose of the ICWA is to prevent the breakup of Indian families, and as a result, their Tribes. The ICWA was implemented as a result of the wholesale removal and adoption of Indian children and the loss of their tribal rights. Adoption frequently meant tribes lost touch with their adopted citizens and many adopted children searched to no avail when they sought their family roots.
Under the ICWA, placement preference is given to Indian foster and adoptive parents, both non-Indian foster and adoptive parents are allowed. The parents or guardians of Indian children, and the Tribes they belong to, have specific rights under ICWA. Please see the following link for further information: www.nicwa.org/Indian_Child_Welfare_Act/
How long does the Enrollment process take?
Generally the total process takes eight – ten weeks. Unique cases may require an extended amount of time.
Cultural and Ceremonial Questions: If you have an inquiry about the cultural practices or ceremonies of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians please contact the Tribal Cultural Resources Department at (828) 497-1584.
Other Cherokee Contacts:
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
PO Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 74465
Main Office – (918)456-0671
Website – www.cherokee.org