Those Who Belong cover
Those Who Belong
Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship among the White Earth Anishinaabeg
Despite the central role blood quantum played in political formations of American Indian identity in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there are few studies that explore how tribal nations have contended with this transformation of tribal citizenship. Those Who Belong explores how White Earth Anishinaabeg understood identity and blood quantum in the early twentieth century, how it was employed and manipulated by the U.S. government, how it came to be the sole requirement for tribal citizenship in 1961, and how a contemporary effort for constitutional reform sought a return to citizenship criteria rooted in Anishinaabe kinship, replacing the blood quantum criteria with lineal descent. Those Who Belong illustrates the ways in which Anishinaabeg of White Earth negotiated multifaceted identities, both before and after the introduction of blood quantum as a marker of identity and as the sole requirement for tribal citizenship. Doerfler’s research reveals that Anishinaabe leaders resisted blood quantum as a tribal citizenship requirement for decades before acquiescing to federal pressure. Constitutional reform efforts in the twenty-first century brought new life to this longstanding debate and led to the adoption of a new constitution, which requires lineal descent for citizenship.
Publication Date: July 1st, 2015
240 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Early Praise

“Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship among the White Earth Anishinaabeg by Jill Doerfler is an outstanding, perceptive, and cogent analysis of federal documents, treaty sovereignty, native blood politics, literature, and the inauguration of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation.”
Gerald Vizenor, author of Native Liberty: Natural Reason and Cultural Survivance

"This book is rooted in deep and meaningful experience in Indigenous constitutional reform. It is also an elegant work of scholarship. This book contains profound lessons for working through the challenging issues of citizenship within native communities today. I highly recommend it."
John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, University of Victoria



Book AwardMidwest Book Award, Gold Medal
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