URM NA Status Question - Please Help, Need Info

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)

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Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:30 pm

URM NA Status Question - Please Help, Need Info

Postby jlayne » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:31 am

Okay, this whole thing annoys me. I can't seem to find a straight answer from anyone about URM status.

Here's the deal: I look whiter than white, but I have a great grandmother who was Native American. This is based upon information from my father. It was his mother's mother, according to him, who was full-blooded Indian. I don't really know much about this whole thing, but I do know that I've always been proud of this fact and identified as part Native-American.

However, I'm not registered with a tribe, and I don't really even know which tribe I would identify with. When I started reading this stuff, it made me question having checked the box on my applications, and now I am going back and writing all of the schools and letting them know that I'm not affiliated with a tribe and asking for clarification on this issue. If anything, might this not hurt my applications because it will bring to their attention that I am unsure of any tribal identification? Anyway, this stuff never really occurred to me when I applied, and so I just identified as I always did. I just don't want anything to come back and haunt me.

Any ideas on whether or not my approach (writing the schools after my application was submitted) is a good idea or could hurt me? I just think it's best to be totally up front and disclose everything, even if it hurts my chances. I want to follow the rules! Please let me know your thoughts.

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Re: URM NA Status Question - Please Help, Need Info

Postby llama11 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:02 pm

Have you always checked the box? Do you also check White/Caucasian? What about your UG apps and what about when you registered with LSAC?

I'm not really sure how this works in your situation. I have 4 grandparents who were enrolled in tribes and for gov't purposes would be considered 'full-blood' but it's rather apparent I've got some anglo ancestry. I think general consensus is how do you identify yourself? Do you feel connected to a significant NA community or tradition? For instance, I've always identified NA and I do have the 'requisite documentation' to back it up. I also, however, have lived in two different tribal communites, currently live on a reservation and work for a tribe, take part in many traditions from both tribes I'm part of, as well as feel that my education ultimately is meant to serve the people.

Looking at me, the average American would not be able to tell I'm Native (at least in these northern winters, when I lived in FL people assumed I was Latino). But I identify the way I do because that's how I grew up.

Please search for other threads, there are tons of these it seems. A majority of Americans do have some NA ancestry, it really comes down to are you actually connected to the culture or community?

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