I had an interesting conversation the other day. It seems I may be entitled to receive a tribal identification card. Key word "may". I may have sufficient native blood to qualify for membership in a tribe that only requires "one drop of blood" to be counted as a whole blood member. This would convey some significant benefits on myself and my children if I can document it.
Problem #1. The federal government has a tremendous incentive to not recognize me, or anyone else as a tribal member. The main reason being a significant monetary debt owed to the tribe. The BIA was working out a deal to settle the matter during the last Bush administration, they eventually decided to renege on the matter after totaling the damages.
Problem #2. The tribe might be happy to have me, except in the event they do get a settlement, it would increase the number of people that would divide the pot o gold. Seeing how I've not suffered with them, they see no reason to share the cash. Which I get.
Problem #3. I suspect (I'm more than 97% on this) that DNA testing will prove native blood equal to or greater than 1/64 most likely between 1/16 and 1/32 native. Probably greater. The problem is my ancestors weren't all that selective about their mating habits (on several sides of the family). My native blood heritage consists of a mix of at least 3 different tribes. One of which I didn't know about until last night.
What's on the line:
1. Canadian citizenship/passport
2. No Canadian federal or provincial taxes
3. No Canadian hunting or fishing laws to bother with
4. Canadian federal Indian and social services, for free
5. Free college for my kids, either nation
6. Big time racial preference status for bidding federal contracts or employment
7. Major tax incentives
8. A list of US federal goodies, most importantly a extra degree of being left alone
9. The ability to hold land in tribal trust
10. "Hi, my name is Shoots at Wapiti", instant protected minority status. Which in this culture is almost as good as being a black lesbian.