Southeastern tribes made decisions on citizenship for tribally-specific reasons. Pamunkeys began to police their citizenship when Jim Crow threatened to reclassify them as “colored.” Catawbas altered criteria when some citizens migrated west, when Catawba fathers of children with white mothers demanded their inclusion, and when the federal government required a roll for recognition. The Mississippi Choctaws used the lessons that federal officials taught them about Indian “blood” to construct a new political identity in the South. Eastern Band Cherokees conceded to expansive rolls when the federal government was paying out claims, but moved to restrict the base roll when their own resources were at stake. Seminoles and Miccosukees ended up with two tribes because of divergent values and goals. As their stories reveal, the only way to understand tribal citizenship is to examine tribes on an individual basis, taking into account their distinctive trajectories and unique goals.
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