Prior to European contact, Indigenous people were born into a Tribe and their sense of belonging was never in doubt.
Colonial assimilation policies changed that. A little discussed government tactic used to undermine Tribal identity, divide Indian peoples, and steal Native lands is the legal fiction of “blood quantum.”
Instead of traditional kinship ties of belonging to a Tribe, the government imposed a formula to determine who had enough Indian blood to qualify as a Tribal member and who did not.
Blood quantum falls in that category of things colonists made up to get what they wanted.
It’s a form of genocide.Continue reading