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Monday, August 15, 2016

Are Ethnic Indians a Threat?

Ethnic Indians are those persons who have an Indian identity and lineage, but are not members of a tribal community. There are hundreds of non-federally recognized Indian nations, but their members tend to retain strong commitments tribal identity and life. Ethnic Indians are those who have not retained a commitment to tribal relations or tribal membership, although they may know their tribal nation, they have not taken membership or do not qualify for membership. Ethnic Indians have an identity like Americans, who have multiple ancestral lineages such as English, Dutch, American Indian, or other nations, but do not participate in those cultures, and are contemporary Americans in terms of identity while recognizing their numerous historical heritages.

Ethnic Indians are in many ways more familiar than tribal Indians with American culture, and are better positioned to qualify for college scholarships, and gain employment as Indians in racial terms to fulfilling U.S. affirmative action goals. Race-based rules do not require Indians to have cultural or political commitments to tribal communities. The ethnic Indian population is increasing and, according to recent Census reports are more numerous than tribal members. Will U.S. ethnic Indians support tribal interests, or will they decide to assume and strive to exert their own ethnic status rights within U.S. society?