Is 25% Native American enough?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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kurama20
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby kurama20 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:43 am

Just so you know OP being black tends to end up giving the biggest boost. I haven't seen a lot of NA cycles but from what I've seen they don't get quite the boost that black applicants do. I would say that they get the closest one to blacks though. Also being able to dicuss your URM status as something that has actually impacted you does seem to have an effect in URM admissions cycles. If you could weave the NA thing into your personal statement that might be pretty cool. And for what it's worth a large portion of blacks have NA blood in them---I think that on average there is a higher chance that we have NA blood in our backgrounds than white Americans. You should research your background, you might learn some interesting things. I know that Don Cheadle discovered that not only did he have NA blood in his background, but that at one point his ancestors had actually been owned by NA's.

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GTman11
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby GTman11 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:47 am

kurama20 wrote:Just so you know OP being black tends to end up giving the biggest boost. I haven't seen a lot of NA cycles but from what I've seen they don't get quite the boost that black applicants do. I would say that they get the closest one to blacks though. Also being able to dicuss your URM status as something that has actually impacted you does seem to have an effect in URM admissions cycles. If you could weave the NA thing into your personal statement that might be pretty cool. And for what it's worth a large portion of blacks have NA blood in them---I think that on average there is a higher chance that we have NA blood in our backgrounds than white Americans. You should research your background, you might learn some interesting things. I know that Don Cheadle discovered that not only did he have NA blood in his background, but that at one point his ancestors had actually been owned by NA's.


I'll definitely do some research and see what I can dig up. Who knows, maybe it'll give me something to write about on the app. Sucks my grandfather passed away when I was 5...I didn't even really know the guy...He'd have the answers to all my questions. ugh

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voice of reason
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby voice of reason » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:46 am

Halibut6 wrote:
Batman2 wrote:I have a friend who is 1/16th Choctaw, and is a registered member of the Choctaw nation. He received a bunch of undergrad scholarships in college because of this, and is planning on claiming Native American status on law school applications. How can they say he is not Native American if he is an official member of the tribe?


I think it is a bit of a stretch to be considered URM for having one great-great-grandparent as a member of a URM group. In some cases it may have an effect, but I think when the tie is that distant and abstract, the person is unlikely to have suffered the hardships and disadvantages in society that URM status is supposed to make up for in the admissions process. OP in this thread, though, has a much more legitimate claim.


Affirmative action's legal basis is not making up for "hardships and disadvantages in society." That's a leading policy argument for AA, sure, but it's not why schools are allowed to do it. They're allowed to do it because of the educational benefits that accrue from diversity. See the Michigan cases, Gratz and Grutter.

As to whether it's a "stretch" to claim one status or another, race is an identity. Being an official member of a tribe is a hell of a lot more formal evidence of having a particular racial identity than most of us have. Nonetheless, race really is what you think it is. This is all about self-identity, considering that with very few exceptions (like official tribal membership) there is no objective basis to identify a person's race.

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voice of reason
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby voice of reason » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:53 am

GTman11 wrote:
Halibut6 wrote:Definitely warrants mention in a diversity statement. I'd check black/AA on the actual app, though.


That's what I was thinking. I don't want these schools to look at my app negatively and think I'm trying to "play" the system and get free URM points.


If you are stating race on the app to get the URM boost, you're playing the system. I don't see any other way to look at it, if playing the system means trying to use the rules to your maximum possible advantage. I mean, if you didn't already know that schools prefer to admit members of certain minority groups, would it occur to you to volunteer that you belong to one of those groups? Probably not. You're going to mention it solely because you think it'll help you. That's playing the system.

That said, I understand your point was a little different: you don't want schools to think you're faking. To that, I'd say race is an identity. If you think you're X, and you're honest and not delusional, then it's really no one else's place to tell you you're not.

So yes, 25% is Native American "enough" if you honestly feel that is your identity.

Oblomov
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby Oblomov » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:05 am

Halibut6 wrote:I think it is a bit of a stretch to be considered URM for having one great-great-grandparent as a member of a URM group. In some cases it may have an effect, but I think when the tie is that distant and abstract, the person is unlikely to have suffered the hardships and disadvantages in society that URM status is supposed to make up for in the admissions process.


The proverbial boost is about increasing the numerical representation of groups who would otherwise be underrepresented. It has nothing to do with individual hardship or disadvantage.

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mpasi
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby mpasi » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:30 pm

Do you or your parents have a tribal membership? Were any of your older relatives on the Dawes Roll? You need to check that out before you put that down, because you can't just say "hey, I'm Native American, give me URM status!" without being able to back it up.

Cestjustemoi
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby Cestjustemoi » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:47 pm

Halibut6 wrote:
GTman11 wrote:Off the top of your head, what do you suggest I say about being lumbee? I have absolutely NO ties to anything native american except for the blood in my veins and my nice hair. How do you write about something that hasn't affected your life at all? I just want to milk being NA for all it's worth, but without lying (which I'm against), I don't think it's going to be worth too much.


bluejayk wrote:As for what to mention, I wouldn't say anything about it other than checking the appropriate box, since you say you don't really identify with that part of your ethnicity in anyway.


Judging from what you have said, you don't significantly draw from your Lumbee heritage, so perhaps mention of it shouldn't be as significant as your discussion of your AA heritage. But, the Lumbee have been discriminated against, IMHO, more than most other NA groups. It was a struggle for them to even be recognized as NA, if I remember correctly. Most North Carolinians, I think, would know what they have gone through without much explanation, so if you're applying to UNC that might be a plus.

I'm certainly not very familiar with your life story or anything, but it might be possible to
compare some kind of struggle you have had to fight through to the struggles that your ancestors have gone through over the years. Might be a bad idea, I'm not sure, but it's something to think about, I suppose.


Heritage should be determined by the cultural ties you have or the effect it has on you. For instance I'm a quarter lumbee and you can bet I wrote about it on my personal statement. My ties to this portion of my heritage heavily influenced my upbringing and my views of the world. I checked both white and native american and in my statement I did not elude to being more lumbee than I am. My lumbee family heavily influenced who I am as a person and it was important for me that the schools I applied to understood that.

Cestjustemoi
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby Cestjustemoi » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:56 pm

mpasi wrote:Do you or your parents have a tribal membership? Were any of your older relatives on the Dawes Roll? You need to check that out before you put that down, because you can't just say "hey, I'm Native American, give me URM status!" without being able to back it up.


I don't agree with this. Do they make Hispanics or African American show proof of being what they are. Many native Americans for instance leave tribal lands and regions for better opportunity and to escape hardships. Their offspring however may not be enrolled but their parents situation and ethnicity plays a major role in their life. In most apps you can check more then one box. This should be done. One should not neglect their heritage or family simply because they do not have or remain tribally affiliated. In most cases tribal affiliation will only help in recieving federal or tribal money to attend school. In such cases as the lumbees this would not have the slightest effect seeing as the federal government will not give them the rights they deserve.

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mpasi
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby mpasi » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:58 pm

GTman11 wrote:I would like to hear some of your opinions on this. Do you think being 25% Native American is enough to claim Native American/African American status on apps? Personally, I don't think it is. What do you all think?

BTW, I'm 75% black. I wasn't just lumping in the AA for added effect :mrgreen:




I don't mean to be rude, but do you go around saying you're "75% black"? :?


Considering that you're pretty much black anyway, go ahead and identify as African-American. Can you trace your NA heritage to the Dawes Roll? I'm an eighth Muskogee Creek and have relatives who live on a reservation, but I can't prove anything. It's pretty obvious when you look at me, though.

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mpasi
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby mpasi » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:59 pm

Cestjustemoi wrote:
mpasi wrote:Do you or your parents have a tribal membership? Were any of your older relatives on the Dawes Roll? You need to check that out before you put that down, because you can't just say "hey, I'm Native American, give me URM status!" without being able to back it up.


I don't agree with this. Do they make Hispanics or African American show proof of being what they are.
Many native Americans for instance leave tribal lands and regions for better opportunity and to escape hardships. Their offspring however may not be enrolled but their parents situation and ethnicity plays a major role in their life. In most apps you can check more then one box. This should be done. One should not neglect their heritage or family simply because they do not have or remain tribally affiliated. In most cases tribal affiliation will only help in recieving federal or tribal money to attend school. In such cases as the lumbees this would not have the slightest effect seeing as the federal government will not give them the rights they deserve.



Is you serious? Hispanics and African Americans don't have the same circumstances. You have to be able to prove NA heritage/affiliation either through BIA or your alleged tribe(s). Going to school in Oklahoma, I came across a lot of white kids who claimed it without proof. Sorry, but being 1/10000th Cherokee isn't going to cut it.

ranovr32
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby ranovr32 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:05 pm

GTman11 wrote:Funny you mention that Batman b/c becoming a real member of a lumbee tribe was my original plan. I'm just a little scared of law schools thinking of me as a fraud or something because I have never in my life claimed native american. I didn't even find out my grandfather was 100% native american until I was around 15. Of course the admissions committees won't know all of this, but I feel like my scheme is pretty transparent since I applied to undergrad only as an AA.

Just go with purely AA, I would leave out the fact that your 25% NA even. It is a lot easier to keep your story cohesive this way, I mean did you really have to overcome adversity as an NA in America. If your 75% black no one can even tell, you said you didn't even know you were part NA till you were 15.

Cestjustemoi
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby Cestjustemoi » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:05 pm

mpasi wrote:
Cestjustemoi wrote:
mpasi wrote:Do you or your parents have a tribal membership? Were any of your older relatives on the Dawes Roll? You need to check that out before you put that down, because you can't just say "hey, I'm Native American, give me URM status!" without being able to back it up.


I don't agree with this. Do they make Hispanics or African American show proof of being what they are.
Many native Americans for instance leave tribal lands and regions for better opportunity and to escape hardships. Their offspring however may not be enrolled but their parents situation and ethnicity plays a major role in their life. In most apps you can check more then one box. This should be done. One should not neglect their heritage or family simply because they do not have or remain tribally affiliated. In most cases tribal affiliation will only help in recieving federal or tribal money to attend school. In such cases as the lumbees this would not have the slightest effect seeing as the federal government will not give them the rights they deserve.



Is you serious? Hispanics and African Americans don't have the same circumstances. You have to be able to prove NA heritage/affiliation either through BIA or your alleged tribe(s). Going to school in Oklahoma, I came across a lot of white kids who claimed it without proof. Sorry, but being 1/10000th Cherokee isn't going to cut it.


I AM serious, and to put things into perspective for you, I live in a heavily hispanic concentrated area in Florida, and many fourth or fifth generation "latinos" will get scholarships based off this and no one asks them to pop out a card in their defense, even if they are less than a quarter cuban or w/e it may be. And to be clear I refer to cultural ties, I dont believe anyone should just claim something they know nothing of. However, if you associate with these cultural ties but you do not have tribal affiliation I don't see that as a problem. Tribal politics can be complicated and financial and other circumstances can prevent individuals removed from tribal jurisdictions to maintain a heavy tie, this does not mean they are not of this race, or do still not have ties to the region. For instance I do not hold a tribal card for various reasons however my mother does, and I have my family tree dating back very far. Im sure at some point in the future I will attempt to get one, when my personal circumstances improve. Furthermore even if I did have a tribal card I would not be so apt to whip it out to prove who I am. I am comfortable with all of my heritage, and I will still check all boxes that apply. Additionally I understand your concerns coming from OK, but if you had read my blog right initially you would have read that I feel if a individual feels their parents or grandparents ethnicity shaped them personally they should declare it. In terms of ethnicity cultural ties in my opinion are sitll the best determinant for identity not governmental bodies.

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llama11
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby llama11 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:06 am

As many others have said, I'd say stick with AA, but if you feel some significant tie to NA, then maybe it warrants a mention. Lumbee is a whole other ballgame, particularly with their struggles for recognition and significant ties to the AA community. If you feel you're being disingenuous, don't mention it. But believe me, there's lots of people out there who have some claim to NA ancestry and are not connected to any NA community. I worked a position in undergrad where I was serving a NA population - most of the people on my list were people I think of as 'box-checkers' - people who think they're going to get something for claiming NA status. At least you didn't say your great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess. The amount of times I've heard that... makes me laugh every time.

jlayne
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby jlayne » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:27 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. 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, this may hurt my application 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. However, I 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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Vincent Vega
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Re: Is 25% Native American enough?

Postby Vincent Vega » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:27 am

jlayne wrote: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. 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, this may hurt my application 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. However, I 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.


I don't have any first-hand experience, but I think that worst-case scenario is they consider you a regular non-URM candidate, no harm done. Best-case scenario is they consider you URM and you get a boost. In either case, you didn't hurt your chances for admission by doing what you did.




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