Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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SaintsTheMetal
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Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:11 am

Just wondering if anyone here any insight into whether or not I should do anything regarding my NA heritage.

Dad's side of the family is basically all native american or french fur trader; they liked to mix a lot back in the day I think ;). My Grandfather was on the Sioux tribal registry, and received res money (he and his wife now deceased.) Particularly, we identify with the Dakota Sioux, from the Sisseton Wahpeton tribe.

One more generation removed I also have a Chippewa ancestor, although we don't identify as strongly with them.

In addition to my grandparents receiving res money, my dad's sister also receives it (both are from same parents.) My dad does not, although I don't think he has pursued it too rigorously. I'm sure I could get proof of my grandfather on the tribal registry if it was needed. My dad also has some kind of tribal ancestor certification letter himself, and I'm sure I could get a copy of that.

I have never bothered to get any kind of 'official' documentation of this for myself though, as my family has since moved away from the Dakotas. I'm not sure exactly how I would go about dealing with the tribal council if I needed something for myself, although I would bet I can get the same kind of tribal ancestor letter my dad did.

I can honestly say that my heritage has had a big effect on my life and such, but I honestly have no idea how this whole URM thing works. What kind of documentation would I personally need to have any kind of meaningful impact on my application this coming app season? Is any of this even significant enough to be have an appreciable effect, since I am obviously not the tribal registry myself?

I'd particularly like to hear from any NAs, since I hear it is a little different process than if you are black or PR.. if there are any of you guys on this board, although all advice is appreciated :)

duckmoney
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby duckmoney » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:18 am

IBT Elizabeth Warren trolling

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:22 am

duckmoney wrote:IBT Elizabeth Warren trolling


I really have no clue who that is other than a 1 minute google search.. although it appears she claims to be Cherokee, which I know is very very easy to do; I believe their blood quantum requirement is like 1/50.

I don't claim to be on the Sioux registry or anything like that, I'm just genuinely curious if it is there is any benefit to people who are not directly on the tribal registry.

I really only ask because I see threads on here about people trying to claim this "URM boost" with very tenuous relations to a URM at best

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twenty
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby twenty » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:05 pm

You really do need to be enrolled, or CDIB'd for any real kind of bonus. While a lot of people on this forum tend to think the URM boost scale goes: AA/NA enrolled > MA/PR, lawschoolnumber's limited data more shows: AA > NA enrolled/CDIB > MA/PR > NA unenrolled/non-CDIB > anything else.

Also, another poster on TLS noted that being NA enrolled did not get him any real boost his first cycle when he did not write a diversity statement, but got him a significant boost when he did the next cycle.

It's worth getting enrolled (for law school purposes), even if you have to apply late this cycle because of the time it will take. You could be looking at the difference between GULC and CCN with money.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:20 pm

Thanks a lot for the advice Twenty, that is very very helpful.

I guess now I should figure out whether I should still plan on ED UVA, or if I should try to get my CDIB and apply RD..
My numbers are 3.17 and (expected) ~172, so I really have no idea if there's a point to not EDing UVA.. unless somehow the CDIB would give me a shot at anything Penn/Berk/higher.

Also with regard to the CDIB, according to Wikipedia, "A CDIB can show only the blood degree of one tribe or the total blood degree from all tribes in the filer's ancestry." I wonder if it would be better to get a CDIB that shows just my Sioux blood, or if it would be more beneficial to just get the 'all tribes' one, as that would have a 50% higher blood level.. although I really have no real connection to that that tribe, as it is one further generation removed.

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twenty
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby twenty » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:41 pm

I thought I'd come back and fill in the blanks -- it wasn't a post, it was an article someone had written for TLS.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/urm-applicant-faq.html

- Native Americans who provide a tribal affiliation number or who “are card carrying” members seem to have a more significant bump. This evidence is largely anecdotal from myself (an African-American/Native American re-applicant who neglected to fill in my tribal affiliation the first time I applied to schools) and various other applicants on many law school admission discussion boards.
- Checking the box and failing to elaborate in a diversity statement seems to have a negative effect on the expected weight of the Native American boost. I contend that this is due in part to a larger number of applicants checking the boxes and schools, in turn, needing a way to differentiate between those who have close tribal ties or are closely affiliated with the tribe and those who are checking the box just to “get the boost.”
- Finally, we do know that demonstrating current activity within the Native American community also has a positive effect on the “level” of a boost that one receives. This information was extrapolated from reviewing the LSN data of sub-160 LSAT score Native American applicants and their cycle outcomes. Those listed specific details about their URM affiliations fared far better than their counterparts who listed limited information.

Also, I think you may actually be better off EDing to NYU. Do your damnedest to get your GPA to 3.2 and LSAT above 170, and I think you have a solid shot at NYU ED. I'm honestly not sure how many other schools you have a crack at, even with a 170+ LSAT (obviously excluding UVA ED). You might pick up money from GULC/Cornell/Michigan, but you're probably just as well off going NYU ED.

This is, of course, contingent on you getting the full boost from NA-URM status.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:11 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:I thought I'd come back and fill in the blanks -- it wasn't a post, it was an article someone had written for TLS.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/urm-applicant-faq.html

- Native Americans who provide a tribal affiliation number or who “are card carrying” members seem to have a more significant bump. This evidence is largely anecdotal from myself (an African-American/Native American re-applicant who neglected to fill in my tribal affiliation the first time I applied to schools) and various other applicants on many law school admission discussion boards.
- Checking the box and failing to elaborate in a diversity statement seems to have a negative effect on the expected weight of the Native American boost. I contend that this is due in part to a larger number of applicants checking the boxes and schools, in turn, needing a way to differentiate between those who have close tribal ties or are closely affiliated with the tribe and those who are checking the box just to “get the boost.”
- Finally, we do know that demonstrating current activity within the Native American community also has a positive effect on the “level” of a boost that one receives. This information was extrapolated from reviewing the LSN data of sub-160 LSAT score Native American applicants and their cycle outcomes. Those listed specific details about their URM affiliations fared far better than their counterparts who listed limited information.

Also, I think you may actually be better off EDing to NYU. Do your damnedest to get your GPA to 3.2 and LSAT above 170, and I think you have a solid shot at NYU ED. I'm honestly not sure how many other schools you have a crack at, even with a 170+ LSAT (obviously excluding UVA ED). You might pick up money from GULC/Cornell/Michigan, but you're probably just as well off going NYU ED.

This is, of course, contingent on you getting the full boost from NA-URM status.


Wow thank you again for all the info. Looks like my first priority now is getting this CDIB.. Unfortunately my GPA is pretty set at 3.17 unless I wait for Fall grades to apply which don't release until like December, and then wait longer for LSAC to process the new transcripts and crap..

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:06 am

Ugh.. After doing some more research, it appears you have to gather ORIGINAL birth certificates of all parents, grandparents, and great grandparents! After you send that in, the BIA takes up to 6 months once they receive it from your tribe..

Doesn't seem like this will be particularly helpful if I am planning on applying this upcoming cycle. Does anyone know if the schools or whoever would accept your birth certificate and documents of the family member that is on the tribal roll themselves? I don't see why they wouldn't...

Jacktone
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby Jacktone » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:18 pm

I just skimmed through this thread, but have you tried enrolling with your Tribe? I only saw discussion regarding obtaining a CDIB. Your Tribe's enrollment process, assuming you are eligible for membership, would likely be much less bureaucratic than the BIA's CDIB process, and personally I think being enrolled with one's Tribe is far more meaningful than having a CDIB.

FYI, I'm pretty sure a lot of law schools don't even give you an opportunity to provide any form of documentation supporting the claim that you're Native American, so trying to obtain this documentation probably isn't the best use of your time if the only reason you want it is to show it to law schools.

And if you're only getting this documentation for law schools, then maybe you should step back and think for a moment. Are you going to use your education to contribute to Tribes and Native people in any way? I know that this is not technically the reason that law schools would choose to give you an admissions boost. Ostensibly, they give URMs an admissions boost to promote diversity in the classroom because it leads to a richer academic experience. And since you said that your heritage has had a significant impact on your life, you might actually be helping whatever school you attend achieve that goal. But if you look beyond the very narrow reasoning that law schools are currently using to justify their admissions practices, then I think you should consider the fact that if you don't plan on contributing to Tribes and Native people, by focusing on your heritage in your application you are potentially taking a spot away from a Native person who would contribute to Tribes and Native people.

I'm not trying to judge you. This is your decision to make. I just thought I'd throw in my two cents since this is the internet and you said you wanted insight into whether or not you should do anything regarding your Native heritage.

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MormonChristian
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby MormonChristian » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:29 pm

SaintsTheMetal wrote:Ugh.. After doing some more research, it appears you have to gather ORIGINAL birth certificates of all parents, grandparents, and great grandparents! After you send that in, the BIA takes up to 6 months once they receive it from your tribe..

Doesn't seem like this will be particularly helpful if I am planning on applying this upcoming cycle. Does anyone know if the schools or whoever would accept your birth certificate and documents of the family member that is on the tribal roll themselves? I don't see why they wouldn't...


I sent you a PM

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:18 am

Jacktone wrote:I just skimmed through this thread, but have you tried enrolling with your Tribe? I only saw discussion regarding obtaining a CDIB. Your Tribe's enrollment process, assuming you are eligible for membership, would likely be much less bureaucratic than the BIA's CDIB process, and personally I think being enrolled with one's Tribe is far more meaningful than having a CDIB.

FYI, I'm pretty sure a lot of law schools don't even give you an opportunity to provide any form of documentation supporting the claim that you're Native American, so trying to obtain this documentation probably isn't the best use of your time if the only reason you want it is to show it to law schools.

And if you're only getting this documentation for law schools, then maybe you should step back and think for a moment. Are you going to use your education to contribute to Tribes and Native people in any way? I know that this is not technically the reason that law schools would choose to give you an admissions boost. Ostensibly, they give URMs an admissions boost to promote diversity in the classroom because it leads to a richer academic experience. And since you said that your heritage has had a significant impact on your life, you might actually be helping whatever school you attend achieve that goal. But if you look beyond the very narrow reasoning that law schools are currently using to justify their admissions practices, then I think you should consider the fact that if you don't plan on contributing to Tribes and Native people, by focusing on your heritage in your application you are potentially taking a spot away from a Native person who would contribute to Tribes and Native people.

I'm not trying to judge you. This is your decision to make. I just thought I'd throw in my two cents since this is the internet and you said you wanted insight into whether or not you should do anything regarding your Native heritage.


Thank you for all the wisdom, I really do appreciate all of it.

I agree with you in that I don't want to take the spot away from anyone that has been more involved than me. However I do definitely want to get more involved in tribal issues and as someone else pointed out getting a law school education can give you a great platform to do that. So I wanted to try regardless of whether it will have an effect in time for my applications this upcoming cycle.. I just figured the CDIB would be the easiest place to start, especially considering that my family has since relocated to the other side of the country

Gathering information on these topics is not easy so thank you for all of your input :)

anela00
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby anela00 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:36 am

Nice avatar, MormonChristian.

005618502
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby 005618502 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:49 pm

SaintsTheMetal wrote:Just wondering if anyone here any insight into whether or not I should do anything regarding my NA heritage.

Dad's side of the family is basically all native american or french fur trader; they liked to mix a lot back in the day I think ;). My Grandfather was on the Sioux tribal registry, and received res money (he and his wife now deceased.) Particularly, we identify with the Dakota Sioux, from the Sisseton Wahpeton tribe.

One more generation removed I also have a Chippewa ancestor, although we don't identify as strongly with them.

In addition to my grandparents receiving res money, my dad's sister also receives it (both are from same parents.) My dad does not, although I don't think he has pursued it too rigorously. I'm sure I could get proof of my grandfather on the tribal registry if it was needed. My dad also has some kind of tribal ancestor certification letter himself, and I'm sure I could get a copy of that.

I have never bothered to get any kind of 'official' documentation of this for myself though, as my family has since moved away from the Dakotas. I'm not sure exactly how I would go about dealing with the tribal council if I needed something for myself, although I would bet I can get the same kind of tribal ancestor letter my dad did.

I can honestly say that my heritage has had a big effect on my life and such, but I honestly have no idea how this whole URM thing works. What kind of documentation would I personally need to have any kind of meaningful impact on my application this coming app season? Is any of this even significant enough to be have an appreciable effect, since I am obviously not the tribal registry myself?

I'd particularly like to hear from any NAs, since I hear it is a little different process than if you are black or PR.. if there are any of you guys on this board, although all advice is appreciated :)


I actually went through this same process. If you are going to claim it, make sure to add an addendum explaining your situation and how it has affected you. My Great Grandfather was 100% Charokee, but I couldnt prove anything. I did try to check DAWES rolls and even sent in an application to Charokee Nation with my Great Granfathers Birth and Death Cert. along with my grandfathers and parents to show the relation. I never heard anything back from them. It is a very tedious process, and incredibly difficult to get through to anyone really willing to help.

Good luck with the process. I did not end up "checking the box" because I was registered, But you definitely can, because it is something that cant really be "proven" against you.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:10 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:I actually went through this same process. If you are going to claim it, make sure to add an addendum explaining your situation and how it has affected you. My Great Grandfather was 100% Charokee, but I couldnt prove anything. I did try to check DAWES rolls and even sent in an application to Charokee Nation with my Great Granfathers Birth and Death Cert. along with my grandfathers and parents to show the relation. I never heard anything back from them. It is a very tedious process, and incredibly difficult to get through to anyone really willing to help.

Good luck with the process. I did not end up "checking the box" because I was registered, But you definitely can, because it is something that cant really be "proven" against you.


Thanks for the input, much appreciated. The whole process seems incredibly bureaucratic and tedious. I just saw my dad's records last night.. he showed me first attempt to register with the tribe back in the 70s, and the tribe had accepted his application and welcomed him to the tribe and everything, but then the BIA said he "did not qualify" and revoked his acceptance to the tribe.. It baffles my mind how the Federal Government can over-rule the tribal council.. although he is on the list to get money from some Mississippi Sissiton Wahpeton settlement

I just checked last night, and I found my grandfather (who lived in the res) on 3 or 4 different tribal rolls. Apparently the roll number is something that changes all time, *I think*. Since the number by his name on the rolls/censuses was always different.

If you are interested in it, I'd suggest signing up on ancestry.com. I was able to see all kinds of original documents with their name on it, including these tribal rolls that my family never knew existed.

005618502
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby 005618502 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:43 pm

SaintsTheMetal wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:I actually went through this same process. If you are going to claim it, make sure to add an addendum explaining your situation and how it has affected you. My Great Grandfather was 100% Charokee, but I couldnt prove anything. I did try to check DAWES rolls and even sent in an application to Charokee Nation with my Great Granfathers Birth and Death Cert. along with my grandfathers and parents to show the relation. I never heard anything back from them. It is a very tedious process, and incredibly difficult to get through to anyone really willing to help.

Good luck with the process. I did not end up "checking the box" because I was registered, But you definitely can, because it is something that cant really be "proven" against you.


Thanks for the input, much appreciated. The whole process seems incredibly bureaucratic and tedious. I just saw my dad's records last night.. he showed me first attempt to register with the tribe back in the 70s, and the tribe had accepted his application and welcomed him to the tribe and everything, but then the BIA said he "did not qualify" and revoked his acceptance to the tribe.. It baffles my mind how the Federal Government can over-rule the tribal council.. although he is on the list to get money from some Mississippi Sissiton Wahpeton settlement

I just checked last night, and I found my grandfather (who lived in the res) on 3 or 4 different tribal rolls. Apparently the roll number is something that changes all time, *I think*. Since the number by his name on the rolls/censuses was always different.

If you are interested in it, I'd suggest signing up on ancestry.com. I was able to see all kinds of original documents with their name on it, including these tribal rolls that my family never knew existed.


It is funny because messing around on Ancestry.com is what first started that whole thing for me when I was a sophomore in UG.

Zionman
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby Zionman » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:35 pm

YES!!!!!!congratulations!!!!!!

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MormonChristian
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby MormonChristian » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:04 pm

Jacktone wrote:And if you're only getting this documentation for law schools, then maybe you should step back and think for a moment. Are you going to use your education to contribute to Tribes and Native people in any way?



I think one of the first steps needs to be starting a Native American Law Student Association in your school. If there is already one, then join it.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Any benefit from my Native American heritage?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:27 pm

MormonChristian wrote:
Jacktone wrote:And if you're only getting this documentation for law schools, then maybe you should step back and think for a moment. Are you going to use your education to contribute to Tribes and Native people in any way?



I think one of the first steps needs to be starting a Native American Law Student Association in your school. If there is already one, then join it.


Yes I completely agree, for anyone claiming NA. I wouldn't feel right getting a benefit and giving nothing back.. getting something for nothing so to speak.




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