When a white person claims some Cherokee lineage do you assume they are a fraud?

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I’ve noticed that most new age frauds and plastic shamans are white people who claim Cherokee lineage.It embarasses those of us who are mixed Cherokee with paler skin.It makes me feel exploited and ripped off.I’ve also noticed it makes it harder for people to take me seriously.Just my opinion,what’s yours?

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Joseph J

i have seen that happen and many of them are frauds. and some of them think that if they have one drop of native American blood in their heritage they’re entitled to benefits or something. my great grandmother was full blooded Choctaw, but I’m white, i always have been white, and unless i get burned from head to toe or have permanent paint poured over me I’m always going to be white. it is sad because it takes away from the people who need those government subsidies.but as long as some people can get a free ride in life they’re going to do anything to try and get it.

Dig It

I know people that have some Native American in them from a few generations ago. Now, they are pretty much 1/16 of it, but they still have a little. I’ve never heard anyone claim that they are pure when they are not though. But what irks me more is white people that get tribal or asian-symbol tattoos. THAT DRIVES ME NUTS!!!!!


I don’t quite understand — what is the difference between someone who is “white” claiming to be of Cherokee lineage, and you, who say you are “mixed … with paler skin.”
Are you saying there are people who are claiming a lineage they do not have?
I am, for all intents and purposes, “white.” Actually, I’m about as pale as you can get. However, my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother was full-blooded Cherokee from Georgia. I cherish that heritage, and very consciously consider myself part Cherokee. Sometimes I celebrate it by going to a powwow or inter-tribal gathering. Is there something wrong with that? Yes, I’ve gotten some “looks” from people, but then, some of the people in the dance circle are as pale as I am.
I have no problem with people trying to get in touch with their roots, but if they’re just exploiting it to make money or whatever, that’s pretty irritating, whoever they are.
Take me seriously or not about my heritage, I don’t care.


Yes,I do.


“Mixed Cherokee with paler skin…” Now, that sounds racist, like saying that you are somehow better than non-Cherokees with paler skin!
seriously, I have never really understood the whole “race” thing. There is only one “race” — the HUMAN race (species). There is no “Chinese species” or “German species”, we are all HUMAN.
My personal Family Heritage may be of mixed German/Scots/Irish/English/N.A., but I am none of those specifically — and you are not specifically Cherokee any more than you are spefically “White”.
Plus, I have been told by various members of various Native North American Tribes, many times, that being “Navaho” (or whatever group you wish to “belong to”) means actually LIVING as a member of that group. It is HOW you live your life, your mind-set which makes you “Indian” — not some percentage of ancestry in your personal genetic makeup.
Any damned fool can say they are Cherokee, but if they do not honor Cherokee traditions they will never **be** Cherokee. Even they are so-called “full-blood”.


Yes, I hate whites who do that, in particular the ones who are only about 1/64th Indian, and yet insinuate that their white side is “boring” or “cultureless”.


yes! haha


i know lots of white people that say they have some native american blood in them, and who cares? how are they hurting anyone by saying that, it may well be true for a lot of people. no one i know is gaining anything or trying to gain anything by claiming this, they just think it’s cool.

Brings Light

Yes, unfortunately for ‘real’ Cherokees, the abundance of people claiming Cherokee means that most people who claim Cherokee are not believed. The key is to ask whether the person is enrolled. If a person says they’re enrolled with the such-and-such Cherokee tribe you can determine whether they’re legitimate or not. If they’re enrolled with one of the three federally recognized tribes you know they’re legit. If they’re enrolled with another Cherokee “tribe,” usually a non-profit organization for people with unconfirmable Cherokee heritage, you know they’re trying. If they aren’t enrolled or don’t know which Cherokee tribe they’re from you just write them off.


This is where people go wrong. It’s perfectly okay to say you descend from Native ancestry but to say, “I”m a Cherokee or Cree” means you are a citizen of that tribe. There are people who are predominately European who are enrolled.
With that said, there are people, and I’ve taken years of history on race and miscegenation in the south, of people that do have have Native ancestry, especially before the Trail of Tears. Now, many of these people may refer to Native heritage but I don’t hear these folks stating, I’m a Native American.”
If you have contribution from a Native ancestry, that DNA does exists and is not subject to enrollment laws and federal laws. We can’t just “write off” an ancestor. Imagine African tribes saying to Black Americans, “If you can’t prove your tribe, you can’t call yourself African American.”
Native Americans are the only group of people that have to prove ethnicity…..That actually is not something to be proud of especially in light of Federal laws that drove Natives to near extinction. It’s funny when I hear validated “Natives” saying how pale they are……..The bleaching of Native Americans is also making them disappear.


My name is Scott and I want you all to know that I am part Tsalagi(Cherokee).The issue of skin color is stupid and those who argue it are ignorant.I am also Irish and German,but that doesn’t take away from my Cherokee bloodline.I go to pow-wows,and see people of other colors who claim Native heritage.Does the fact that they are mixed take away from their Native blood.NO.There are actually more mixed bloods in this country than full bloods If you don’t believe me check out the facts.I live a Native life as best I can,and I AM PROUD OF IT.I don’t even care about my European side.I have no interest in it .As far as I am concerned I am TSALAGI.


One of my biggest pet peeves.
EVERYONE says they’re “1/16 cherokee”, and it is bullshit.
In order to claim native ancestry, AT THE VERY LEAST, the following must have happened to you at some point:
-been asked “what race are you?”
-been derogitorily called “chief” or “cochise”
-had someone do that indian war-cry thing at you
-been in a fight because you’re different-looking
-been asked “are you part chinese or something?”, or called “chink”.
If none of these things has ever happened to you, you’re not in the club. You are NOT part indian. At all. You’re white. Period.


I get mad because im white and everyone claims to be cherokee when they obviously do not look it. My great grand parents are full cherokee . My mother is brown skinned with dark black hair and im pale as can be because my father is german and irish. I have all the cherokee features. People who are cherokee have round faces and very high prominent cheek bones. And small squinty eyes almost. Any who doesnt have the features or skin color are FRAUDS


My Great-Grandparents were full on Cherokee, making my Grandmother 100%. She married a white man, making my mother mixed, and she married a white man. However, I still have the prominent cheek bones & the bone structure of a Native American. I really enjoy learning about my heritage, but I’m told I can’t practice any of it because I’m too “watered-down” as someone told me. What do you guys think?


Plus, I’ve got somewhat dark skin, and dark grainy hair.
So, thoughts?

Deborah Foreman

My great grandma Mary Foreman was full blood Cherokee she married my great grandpa was white but I consider myself to be Caucasian I dont have any features of Indian red hair an brown eyes not like my father sky blue eyes an dark skin but I luv ur culture very interesting


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