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Cherokee Chief
Cherokee Chief
Native American Indian (NAI) Profile©
Enrollment Information Cherokee Nation
If you are conducting family research with a goal of gaining triblal membership in one of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes
(Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma or United Keetoowah Band headquarted in Tahlequah Oklahoma or the Eastern Band of Cherokees in Cherokee, Qualla Boundary, North Carolina),
it is important to know the following:
To register as a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma one must prove direct decendancy from a person of Cherokee Blood enrolled by DAWES during the period of 1898 to 1914 (An in-depth explanation of this role appeared earlier). Direct descendancy refers to mother, father, or grand-parents of any generations. Unfortunately, aunts, uncles, brothers etc. DO NOT qualify.
Simultaneous applications for "Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood" and "Cherokee Nation Membership" are required. There is no minimum blood quantum required. Birth certificates, death certificates, and Court Records are some of the means of proving direct descendancy from a person listed on the DAWES Roll. Note that tribal agencies DO NOT accept Federal Census Records as proof of Indian blood.

It is your burden to prove to the Cherokee Nation that you are entitled to be registered in their community as a member and according to their rules. Regardless of the fact that the DAWES roll was a U.S. Government orchestrated requirement, if your ancestor is not listed on it, you simply won't be allowed to enroll, even if you have positive proof that you are 100 percent Cherokee!
Welcome to the world of government bureaucracy. If your descendant IS listed on the DAWES ROLL, and you desire to attempt enrollment in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, applications may be obtained from:

Cherokee Nation,
Tribal Register
Tahlequah, OK. 74465
Phone 918-456-0671

Enrollment requirements for the United Keetoowah Tribe and Eastern Band of North Carolina are even more stringent. Until just recently an applicant for enrollment in the eastern band was required to prove direct decendancy from a person who was listed on the Baker Roll of 1924 and have a minimum 1/16 blood quantum.
After Feb 15, 1996, ENROLLMENT IN THE EASTERN BAND WAS RESTRICTED TO NEWBORNS ON THE RESERVATION, however this is always subject to change.

For current information, contact:
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Tribal Enrollment Office
Council House
Cherokee, N.C. 28719

Enrollment in the United Keetoowah Tribe of Oklahoma under UKB Membership Ordinance 90 UKB 9-16, 16 September 1990, provides that any descendant of 1/4 Cherokee Indian blood of any enrollee on the 1949 UKB Base Roll, or on any other historical Cherokee Roll, shall be eligible for enrollment in the UKB. Final determination of Cherokee Indian blood quantum rests with the UKB Tribal Council. For applications, call or write:

United Keetoowah Band
of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma
P.O. Box 746
Tahlequah, Ok. 74465-0746
Phone (918) 456-5491

Over the years, the "Rolls Rules," have led to the formation of a few non-federal tribes in various parts of the country. Some of these are officially recognized by the legislated Indian Affairs Commissions of their individual state governments. You might want to consider pursuing membership there if you do not have the required Dawes or Baker rolls connection for the federal tribes. Just keep in mind that they will be asking what you can do for them, instead of what they can do for you. Benefits are almost non-existent, save some educational scholarship considerations and limited housing assistance for the needy , and they are available only to legal residents of the state where the tribe is located. I also strongly recommend that you check out the credentials, goals, policies and tribal enrollment requirements of any non-federal tribe you consider applying to.
The common denominator for authenticity, credibility and approval by state governments seems to be an absolute requirement for proving descent from a Cherokee ancestor and the government rolls are the vehicles for this in all cases that I have researched. In some rare instances, I am told, certified family documents will be considered.

There are many groups without any form of recognition that claim Cherokee descent, some of which even call themselves "tribes" and award titles such as "chiefs, clan mothers, etc." Some of these are made up of very sincere people desiring a local place to exercise traditions of heritage, even if they are unable to document it. Nevertheless, others are headed by shysters interested more in the pocketbooks of their "tribesmen" and general public than anything else; thus, I cannot urge you enough to carefully investigate any such group that you consider becoming affiliated with.

In the first edition of this book, I listed every group I could find whose primary focus seemed to be respect for and interest in Cherokee culture. That was a mistake, because I later learned that one of them was advertising memberships in their "tribe" to include a "card certifying you as Indian with no paperwork required" for just $25; another was designating people as "chiefs" (and awarding them plains Indian names) without any requirement for proof of Cherokee blood.
Understand, it is not my purpose to be judgmental, but I find such practices very objectionable because they can have only a detrimental effect on real Cherokee people and culture. In view of these incidents, I elected to list in this edition only federal or state recognized tribes. The term "recognition" in this context is defined as recognition by a state Commission of Indian Affairs or similar department charged specifically with handling Indian affairs. The fact that a group may have a state charter as some type of non-profit corporation does not qualify in this regard.

In response to inquiries to all fifty state governments, the following six tribes were reported to have official recognition.
Contact them directly for information:

Cherokee Tribe of Northeast
P.O. Box 1618
Pinson, AL. 35126
Georgia Tribe of Eastern
P.O. Box 1993
Dahlonega, GA. 30533
Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old
Louisiana Territory
1012 Old Highway 63 North
Columbia, MO 65201
Echota Cherokee Tribe of
1150 Arkadelphia Rd.
Warrior, AL. 35180
Cherokee of Southeastern Alabama
510 South Park Ave.
Dothan, AL. 36301
Cherokee of Georgia Tribal Council
P.O. Box 227
Saint George, GA. 31646

During the Dawes enrollments, if an applicant's parents were full bloods of different tribes, their registration was based only on the mother's blood. They would be listed as one-half Indian. Freedmen were always enrolled with no Indian blood.

 "Cherokee Pride" 1st Ed. 1999
 by Tony Mack McClure, Phd.
 Pages 201, 2004

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Part of the SFA Native American Indian - Catawba Series! These records are part of the "History American Indian Profile©" by Volume - I. Sarratt/Sarrett/Surratt Family Profile©
Compiled and self Published in Jun. 29, 1993 by Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. with the assistance of my late mother
Mrs. M. Lucille (WILSON) SARRETT (1917-1987) The SFA "Work-Books" were compiled by "General, Languages, Tribes, Treaties, Wars, How to Research NA Ancestors, Bibliographies". In 1996 I started "Up-Loading" this material on the Sarratt/Sarrett/Surratt Families of America (SFA)© site. ..prs
Would like to Exchange and Share information on SARRATT / SARRETT / SURRATT Families, contact me at:
E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Auburn, CA.

Text - Copyright © 1996-2009 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; May 17, 2005;  Jan 20, 2009;