Is Blood Quantum Hurting Native American Tribes?

Is Blood Quantum Hurting Native American Tribes?

Is Blood Quantum Hurting Native American Tribes?

Native American blood quantum is a system used to determine who is eligible for membership in a Native American tribe. Tribes calculate blood quantum by dividing the number of Native American ancestors a person has by their total number of ancestors. 

For example, if a person has two Native American and two European grandparents, their blood quantum would be 50%.

Blood quantum requirements vary from tribe to tribe, but they’re typically between 25% and 50%. Also, some tribes have different requirements for various types of membership, such as voting rights or holding office.

What you may not is that blood quantum is an increasingly hot topic and controversial issue amongst some Native Americans in the United States. That said, there are several arguments for and against blood quantum requirements.

People who construct arguments in favor of blood quantum requirements bring up the following points: 

  • Blood quantum requirements help to preserve tribal identity and culture.
  • These requirements ensure that tribal resources are used to benefit tribal members.
  • These requirements protect tribal sovereignty.

On the other hand, arguments against blood quantum requirements bring up the following points: 

  • Blood quantum requirements are discriminatory.
  • These requirements can lead to the exclusion of people who are culturally and socially Native American.
  • These requirements can be difficult to enforce.

There is no consensus on whether or not blood quantum requirements are inherently good or bad. Some people believe that they are necessary to protect tribal identity and culture. In contrast, others believe that they’re discriminatory and should be abolished.

It is important to note that other ethnicities do have blood quantum requirements. For example, some Jewish communities require that members have at least one Jewish parent. Still, blood quantum requirements are more common among Native American tribes.

There are many reasons why other ethnicities don’t follow blood quantum requirements. 

First, many of these cultures do not have the history of colonization and displacement that Native Americans do. As a result, they do not have the same need to protect their identity and culture as Native American tribes do. 

Second, many ethnicities have a long history of intermarriage. As a result, it would be difficult to determine who is eligible for membership based on blood quantum.

Ultimately, whether or not to use blood quantum requirements is up to each tribe. There are valid arguments on both sides of the issue, and it’s essential to respect the decisions each tribe and Native community makes.

Still, blood quantum requirements are becoming increasingly obsolete because we live in such a diverse world. For instance, here’s a creative way to think about blood quantum:

Imagine a world where blood quantum requirements are applied to all ethnicities. In this world, you would only be considered a member of an ethnic group if you had a certain percentage of blood from that group. 

For example, if the blood quantum requirement for being considered white was 90%, then anyone with less than 90% white blood would not be regarded as white.

These standards would create a world where people are divided based on their blood, rather than their culture or identity. It would also be a world where people are constantly judged and excluded based on their blood quantum.

This is a world that we should want to avoid. Blood quantum requirements can be discriminatory and harmful. They divide people and create a world where some people are seen as more valuable than others.