What makes someone "legitimately" Native American?

Julia Good Fox, professor of American Indian Studies at Haskell Indian Nations University.
What makes someone "legitimately" Native American? And who gets to make that determination?
"Fundamentally, it's the tribe's right to determine who its citizens are and are not. If we don't know (whether someone is American Indian), we can ask the tribe," said Julia Good Fox.
Julia, I say which tribe and how did this tribe come into existence?
For instance, is it a traditional tribe or a casino tribe put together by this government?
Good Fox said that using blood quantum as a criterion for tribal membership is a fairly recent concept.
"Blood quantum was imposed upon the tribes by the United States. We never had blood quantum a thousand years ago," said Good Fox.
This was a way of diminishing the number of "actual" Native Americans that the government would then be obligated to count when calculating federal money and land disbursed to the tribes.
Again I say this government set a standard not our people, in other words if you gave up your land claims, elders and ancestors this government gave you a casino and dumped all for the traditionalist!
The Cherokee (tribe) people are splintered into a half dozen or so mini tribes, so which one is the true tribe of the ancestors?
Same with the Pequot's and Mohegan's, before the 1970's there was one tribe, the Mohegan's, after this government allowed casino Indians we now have a half dozen Pequot and a half dozen Mohegan tribes?
Good Fox, a Teepee is a home for a Plains Indian.
A Roundhouse is a home for our people so, just like homes, tribes are also different, did you know this?
Also please check the follow up at


legitimately Native American

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