How to Find Your Native American Tribal Number

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If you've never heard of the CDIB, you should have heard of the Native American Number. Well, both are the same.

CDIB is an acronym for Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaskan Blood (CDIB) number. It's the formal name of the famous Native American Tribal Number. Anyway, these documents prove that you're a member of one of the Native American tribes.

Note that only those who are eligible can acquire this number or document. If you're eligible and wondering how to find your Native American Tribal Number, keep reading. This article will show you how to get it.

The Native American Tribal Number: All You Should Know?

As stated earlier, the Native American Tribal number is officially called the CDIB number. It is a document you can get from the US Bureau of Indian Affairs to establish your heritage in the federally recognized tribe.

Although this document establishes that you're from a Native American tribe, you won't become a member of the tribe. The reason is that every Native American tribe is run by their tribe's laws.

The tribe law dictates the requirement for anyone to be a member. Now, if your parents (or one of your parents) are of Indian descent, you can apply for your CDIB through their tribe. Note that you have to request this document to get it.

So, if you're trying to get a new one for the first time, you'll have to reach out to the tribal office to know the requirement for the document. You can request a replacement if you misplaced yours or it got damaged.

How to Find Your Native American Tribal Number?

There are specific privileges that people of Native American descent are entitled to. One of such is the Indian Health Service which grants Native Americans access to quality health care services.

However, you'll need to prove that you're a Native American to enjoy these privileges. That's where the Native American tribal number comes in handy.

Now, to find yours, you'll have to start from the beginning. This process requires you to take a trip to genealogy to determine which of the Native American tribes you're from.

An excellent place to start is your direct lineal descendants - your grandparents, parents, and great-grandparents. If it leads you to a dead end, consider performing full-blown research.

There are different sources to help with your research. You'll need to get certain details as it would help establish your lineage with the CDIB and the tribe whose heritage you're claiming.

Some of the information that would be requested includes your tribe's lineage with names, dates of death and births, and your lineal ancestor's CDIB roll number, amongst others.

Getting all the details about your lineage and descendant is the first step to getting your Native American Number.

Adopted kids would have to trace their lineage to their natural parents.

Once you have access to this information, you can complete the CDIB application. You can also apply for membership or citizenship with the tribe once your information has been confirmed by the tribe.

How to Get a CDIB - If Lost or Are Applying for the First Time

After completing your research and you can trace your lineage, here are the remaining steps to getting your CDIB or getting a replacement.

1. Fill Out the CDIB Application Form

You can either download the application form online or get a hard copy in person by visiting the tribe's local office or the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the US.

Once you get the form, proceed to fill it out. You'll need to put the knowledge you gathered while researching into your lineage while filling out the form. Note that the form has to have the signature of your parents or legal guardian and your signature.

2. Required Documents

You'll need to attach some documents to the form. They include:

  • An original copy of your birth certificate,
  • Marriage license or divorce decree (if it applies to you), and
  • Other documentation which may be requested by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

3. Submit Forms

After successfully filling out the form and providing the required documentation, submit it to the Tribal Government Services (TGS).

They would review all the documentation before sending it to the Bureau. The Bureau would decide if your request would be granted or declined.

If you are successful, you can proceed to apply for full-blown membership with the tribe you are from to solidify your lineage.

FAQs: How to Find Your Native American Tribal Number

What Is a Tribal ID?

Tribal ID is the short form of tribal identification card that tribes issue to their members. It proves that you belong to the tribe and is a suitable means of photo identification.

How Do You Get a Native American Tribal ID?

You'll have to reach out to your tribe's enrollment department for the requirement and process for getting a tribal ID.

How Many Generations Can Claim Indian Status?

While you can transfer Indian status to your kids, it is only valid for two generations. In essence, third-generation non-Indian parents cannot transfer the Indian status to their kids.

Can a DNA Test Determine a Native American Tribe?

No, a DNA test cannot determine your Native American tribe. However, it can determine if you are Indian or not. Nevertheless, Native American tribes do not accept DNA test as proof that you belong to their tribe.

How Do You Get a Certificate of Indian Blood?

You can get a certificate of Indian Blood from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But you'll need to provide some documents like your birth certificate that proves your descent through both parents or one.

Where to Look For Ancestral Information?

You can dig out Ancestral/Ancestry information from a couple of sources. You can check the National Archives and Records Administration, the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation's passenger record database, and The US Census Bureau's 1950-2010 census data, amongst others.

Conclusion: How to Find Your Native American Tribal Number

Now that you know how to find your Native American Tribal Number, you can finally confirm your true heritage. Being part of a tribe makes you feel like you belong to a place with people who share the same rich history and heritage as you do.

Note that merely having your Native American Tribal number or CDIB is not enough to make you a tribal member. You should attempt to learn about your tribe - especially if you're eligible to get it.


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  • " How to Find Your Native American Tribal Number". Legal Explanations. Accessed on June 14, 2024.

  • " How to Find Your Native American Tribal Number". Legal Explanations, Accessed 14 June, 2024

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