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Melissa Lompre (Menominee, Ojibwe, and Delaware) with two of her children, who are half Puerto Rican from their father's side.
-photo by Brian Bull

Identity

What does it mean to be an Indian? In many tribes, it’s a matter of blood, as in “one – eighth” or “one-quarter Indian.” But what does that mean for a tribe member married to an outsider whose son or daughter is thus ineligible? Some tribes are opening their doors to more members to avoid dying out, others flush with casino cash are restricting their membership. And other Native Americans have to rely on the US Government for their identity by seeking official recognition as a tribe. Brian Bull of Wisconsin Public Radio, himself a member of the Nez Perce tribe, explores this issue.

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