By Brice Obermeyer
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Extra resources for Delaware Tribe in a Cherokee Nation
Similarly, Pamela Ann Bunte and Robert J. Franklin’s (1987) work provides an ethnography of the San Juan Southern Paiute, who were incorporated into the Navajo Nation at the time of their work. 1 Following the authors’ publications, the Southern Paiute received federal recognition in 1989 and negotiated a land base from the Navajo Nation in 2000. James Howard (1970, 1980) also provided ethnographic accounts of the Natchez and Loyal Shawnee who were considered members of the Cherokee Nation at the time of his work.
Not only must the Delaware Tribe challenge a more powerfully situated host tribe, but they must also navigate the complex meanings of tribal enrollment in current federal policy. The primary dilemma confronting the Delaware and other similarly placed groups is therefore achieving a separate tribal membership and the direct access to, and control over, the administration of federal services that such separateness provides. In this book I explore this issue of how tribal enrollment in the modern era is not simply a political choice guided by a long-standing debate within the Delaware Tribe but is also an economic choice that is influenced by the access to federal programs and services that enrollment provides.
The literature on the unacknowledged has thus identified the very real difficulties that the unacknowledged face, yet such difficulties are not shared by tribes like the Delaware, who can easily demonstrate political continuity and racial authenticity according to the federal standard. For unacknowledged tribes, the fap requirement that is most easily met is that the petitioning group be composed principally of individuals who are not also members of an acknowledged Indian tribe. This enrollment requirement is an afterthought for most unacknowledged tribes because most of their membership is not recognized as holding a federal Indian status (M.