Application Tips

Proving Descendency

This topic is also mentioned in our Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships page.

For students who are not enrolled tribal members, but are able to prove that their parents or grandparents have tribal enrollment, this tip is very important.


The following graphic, based on a real student, illustrates an excellent example of how to prove descendency through a paper trail:

While this graphic covers the basics, a brief set of follow-up questions may help answer any additional inquiries regarding descendency.

What are examples of tribal documents that I can use?
Examples of tribal documents may include:
– Official letter from the tribe stating the enrollment status of the parent and/or grandparent
– A copy of the Tribal ID card
– CIB (Certificate of Indian Blood)

Where can I find out my ancestry? Who do I contact?
For this, please see the U.S. Department of the Interior’s “Trace Indian Ancestry” page. The page includes resources and information to help guide readers to appropriate offices or organizations that can assist in tracing ancestry. We do not have any contact information for tribal enrollment offices but many, if not all, can be located through an internet search.
It might take time and effort to compile the necessary documents, but remember that the time is well spent if it leads to scholarship funding!