The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U. S. and Canada. It embraces: The entirety of the U. S. states of Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota Parts of the states of Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming The southern portions of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and SaskatchewanThe region is known for supporting extensive cattle ranching and dry farming. The Canadian portion of the Plains is known as the Prairies, it covers much of Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, a narrow band of southern Manitoba. Despite covering a small geographic area, the Prairies are home to the majority of each of the three provinces' respective populations; the term "Great Plains" is used in the United States to describe a sub-section of the more vast Interior Plains physiographic division, which covers much of the interior of North America.
It has currency as a region of human geography, referring to the Plains Indians or the Plains States. In Canada the term is little used. There is no region referred to as the "Great Plains" in The Atlas of Canada. In terms of human geography, the term prairie is more used in Canada, the region is known as the Prairie Provinces or "the Prairies." The North American Environmental Atlas, produced by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a NAFTA agency composed of the geographical agencies of the Mexican and Canadian governments, uses the "Great Plains" as an ecoregion synonymous with predominant prairies and grasslands rather than as physiographic region defined by topography. The Great Plains ecoregion includes five sub-regions: Temperate Prairies, West-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, South-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, Texas Louisiana Coastal Plains, Tamaulipas-Texas Semi-Arid Plain, which overlap or expand upon other Great Plains designations; the region is about 500 mi east to 2,000 mi north to south.
Much of the region was home to American bison herds until they were hunted to near extinction during the mid/late-19th century. It has an area of 500,000 sq mi. Current thinking regarding the geographic boundaries of the Great Plains is shown by this map at the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; the term "Great Plains", for the region west of about the 96th and east of the Rocky Mountains, was not used before the early 20th century. Nevin Fenneman's 1916 study Physiographic Subdivision of the United States brought the term Great Plains into more widespread usage. Before that the region was invariably called the High Plains, in contrast to the lower Prairie Plains of the Midwestern states. Today the term "High Plains" is used for a subregion of the Great Plains; the Great Plains are the westernmost portion of the vast North American Interior Plains, which extend east to the Appalachian Plateau. The United States Geological Survey divides the Great Plains in the United States into ten physiographic subdivisions: Coteau du Missouri or Missouri Plateau, glaciated – east central South Dakota and eastern North Dakota and northeastern Montana.
The Great Plains consist of a broad stretch of country underlain by nearly horizontal strata extends westward from the 97th meridian west to the base of the Rocky Mountains, a distance of from 300 to 500 miles. It extends northward from the Mexican boundary far into Canada. Although the altitude of the plains increases from 600 or 1,200 ft on the east to 4,000–5,000 or 6,000 feet near the mountains, the local relief is small; the semi-arid climate opens far-reaching views. The plains are by no means a simple unit, they are of various stages of erosional development. They are interrupted by buttes and escarpments, they are broken by valleys. Yet on the whole, a broadly extended surface of moderate relief so prevails that the name, Great Plains, for the region as a whole is well-deserved; the western boundary of the plains is well-defined by the abrupt ascent of the mountains. The eastern boundary of the plains is more climatic than topographic; the line of 20 in. of annual rainfall trends a little east of northward near the 97th meridian.
If a boundary must be drawn where nature presents only a gradual transition, this rainfall line may be taken to divide the drier plains from the moister prairies. The plains may be described in northern, intermediate and southern sections, in relation to certain peculiar features; the northern section of the Great Plains, north of latitude 44°, including eastern Montana, north-eastern Wyomi
Kiowa County, Oklahoma
Kiowa County is a county located in the southwestern part of the U. S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,446, its county seat is Hobart. The county was created in 1901 as part of Oklahoma Territory, it was named for the Kiowa people. In 1892, the Jerome Commission began enrolling the Kiowas and Apaches to prepare for the opening of their reservation to settlement by whites. Dennis Flynn, the territorial representative to the U. S. Congress, proposed holding a lottery for opening the reservation, he argued that the lottery would be safer and more orderly than land runs used earlier. Individuals could register at offices in El Reno. 165,000 individuals registered for 13,000 160-acre claims. The drawing was held August 6, 1901. After the opening, the area was designated as Kiowa County in Oklahoma Territory; the town of Hobart, named for Vice President Garrett A. Hobart, was designated as county seat. By 1908, residents of the southern part of the county were agitating for a new county to be formed.
In 1910, Governor Charles N. Haskell proclaimed that parts of Kiowa and Comanche Counties would become the new Swanson County; the new county became defunct after the Oklahoma Supreme Court voided the change. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,031 square miles, of which 1,015 square miles is land and 15 square miles is water; the county is composed of flatlands, although the southern border is covered by the Washita Mountains. The North Fork of the Red River serves as the western boundaries of Jackson County. Water bodies include Altus-Lugert Lake on Tom Steed Reservoir on Otter Creek. Other streams in the county are the Washita Elk Creek. U. S. Highway 62 U. S. Highway 183 State Highway 9 State Highway 19 State Highway 44 Washita County Caddo County Comanche County Tillman County Jackson County Greer County As of the census of 2000, there were 10,227 people, 4,208 households, 2,815 families residing in the county; the population density was 10 people per square mile.
There were 5,304 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 83.54% White, 4.67% Black or African American, 6.31% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.68% from other races, 2.42% from two or more races. 6.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 4,208 households out of which 27.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.00% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.10% were non-families. 30.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.92. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 24.50% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, 20.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 95.70 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males. The median income for a household in the county was $26,053, the median income for a family was $34,654. Males had a median income of $25,552 versus $19,497 for females; the per capita income for the county was $14,231. About 15.00% of families and 19.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.30% of those under age 18 and 15.70% of those age 65 or over. Hobart Snyder Cooperton Gotebo Lone Wolf Mountain Park Mountain View Roosevelt Babbs Lugert Saddle Mountain Tommy Franks, U. S. Army general and Commander of U. S. Central Command during the Iraq War. Dale Meinert, an All-Pro linebacker for the St. Louis Cardinals, was born at Lone Wolf. N. Scott Momaday, 1969 Pulitzer Prize winner for House Made of Dawn, is from Mountain View. Col. Jack Treadwell of Snyder, who served in the 180th Infantry, Forty-fifth Infantry Division, during World War II, received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Lt. Gen. La Vern E. Weber, born at Lone Wolf, served as chief of the National Guard Bureau.
National Register of Historic Places listings in Kiowa County, Oklahoma
Cotton County, Oklahoma
Cotton County is a county located in the U. S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,193, its county seat is Walters. When Oklahoma achieved statehood in 1907, the area, now Cotton County fell within the boundaries of Comanche County, it was split off in 1912. Cotton County is included in the Lawton, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area; the eastern part of what is now Cotton County was opened to settlement by non-Native Americans by the 1901 Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Opening, which distributed land by a lottery system. In 1906, the remainder of the present county known as the Big Pasture was opened through a sealed bid process. Most of this territory became part of Comanche County at statehood in 1907. In 1910, residents of the present Cotton County area tried to form a new county, named "Swanson County," but this effort failed in 1911. Another effort in 1912 succeeded; this time, residents elected to split from Comanche County and name the new county "Cotton County," for the primary crop in the region at the time.
Randlett, Oklahoma was assigned as a temporary county seat, until a November 4, 1912 election made Walters, Oklahoma the permanent location. Wheat became more prevalent than and corn just as prevalent as cotton as early as 1915. In 1934, corn had dwindled and winter wheat and oats had become the primary crops; the county population has declined since 1920. In 1920, the population was 16,679. In 1930, it was 15,542. There was a brief increase in the late 1900s. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 642 square miles, of which 633 square miles is land and 9.3 square miles is water. The eastern portion of the county is in the Cross Timbers region, its creeks and streams drain to the southeast into the Red River, which borders the county on the south. Comanche County Stephens County Jefferson County Clay County, Texas Wichita County, Texas Tillman County The county's population has declined since it stood at 16,679 in 1920; as of the census of 2000, there were 6,614 people, 2,614 households, 1,840 families residing in the county.
The population density was 10 people per square mile. There were 3,085 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 84.70% White, 2.86% Black or African American, 7.42% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, 3.05% from two or more races. 4.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 2,614 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.60% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.90% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.00. In the county, the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, 17.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years.
For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.60 males. The median income for a household in the county was $27,210, the median income for a family was $35,129. Males had a median income of $28,443 versus $19,101 for females; the per capita income for the county was $14,626. About 13.70% of families and 18.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.40% of those under age 18 and 16.90% of those age 65 or over. The county's economy has long revolved around agriculture crops such as cotton and wheat and livestock such as cattle and poultry. Beginning in the late 1910s, oil and gas grew as a strong industry, the county had 290 producing wells in 1920, 32 of which were gas; the southern portion of the county had Devol refineries, pumping stations, pipelines. A large retail outlet, Temple's B & O Cash Store, shipped merchandise nationwide, before being bought by Sears and Roebuck in 1929 and closed in 1954. In 1997 the county ranked eleventh in the state for poultry sold.
Cotton County is the main setting for the Animal Planet documentary series Hillbilly Handfishin'. National Register of Historic Places listings in Cotton County, Oklahoma Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Cotton County Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory
The Black Hills are a small and isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk Peak, which rises to 7,244 feet, is the range's highest summit; the Black Hills encompass the Black Hills National Forest. The name "Black Hills" is a translation of the Lakota Pahá Sápa; the hills were so-called because of their dark appearance from a distance, as they were covered in trees. Native Americans have a long history in the Black Hills. After conquering the Cheyenne in 1776, the Lakota took over the territory of the Black Hills, which became central to their culture. In 1868, the U. S. government signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, establishing the Great Sioux Reservation west of the Missouri River, exempting the Black Hills from all white settlement forever. However, when settlers discovered gold there in 1874, as a result of George Armstrong Custer's Black Hills Expedition, miners swept into the area in a gold rush.
The US government took back the Black Hills and in 1889 reassigned the Lakota, against their wishes, to five smaller reservations in western South Dakota, selling off 9 million acres of their former land. Unlike most of South Dakota, the Black Hills were settled by European Americans from population centers to the west and south of the region, as miners flocked there from earlier gold boom locations in Colorado and Montana; as the economy of the Black Hills has shifted from natural resources since the late 20th century, the hospitality and tourism industries have grown to take its place. Locals tend to divide the Black Hills into two areas: "The Southern Hills" and "The Northern Hills"; the Southern Hills is home to Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Black Elk Peak, Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, the world's largest mammoth research facility. Attractions in the Northern Hills include Spearfish Canyon, historic Deadwood, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held each August.
The first Rally was held on August 14, 1938 and the 75th Rally in 2015 saw more than 1 million bikers visit the Black Hills. Devils Tower National Monument, located in the Wyoming Black Hills, is an important nearby attraction and was the United States' first national monument. Although written history of the region begins with the Sioux domination of the land over the native Arikara tribes, researchers have carbon-dating and stratigraphic records to analyze the early history of the area. Scientists have been able to utilize carbon-dating to evaluate the age of tools found in the area, which indicate a human presence that dates as far back as 11,500 BC with the Clovis culture. Stratigraphic records indicate environmental changes in the land, such as flood and drought patterns. For example, large-scale flooding of the Black Hill basins occurs at a probability rate of 0.01, making such floods occur once in every 100 years. However, during The Medieval Climate Anomaly, or the Medieval Warm Period, flooding increased in the basins.
A stratigraphic record of the area shows that during this 400-year period, thirteen 100-year floods occurred in four of the region's basins, while the same four basins from the previous 800 years only experienced nine floods. The Arikara arrived by AD 1500, followed by the Cheyenne, Crow and Pawnee; the Lakota arrived from Minnesota in the 18th century and drove out the other tribes, who moved west. They claimed the land; the mountains became known as the Black Hills. François and Louis de La Vérendrye travelled near the Black Hills in 1743. Fur trappers and traders had some dealings with the Native Americans. European Americans encroached on Lakota territory. After defeating the Lakota Sioux, the United States government made peace under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, establishing the Great Sioux Reservation west of the Missouri River and acknowledging their control of the Teton range. In this treaty, they protected the Black Hills "forever" from European-American settlement. Both the Sioux and Cheyenne claimed rights to the land, saying that in their cultures, it was considered the axis mundi, or sacred center of the world.
Although rumors of gold in the Black Hills had circulated for decades, it was not until 1874 that Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer of the 7th US Cavalry led an expedition there and discovered gold in French Creek. An official announcement of gold was made by the newspaper reporters accompanying the expedition; the following year, the Newton-Jenney Party conducted the first detailed survey of the Black Hills. The surveyor for the party, Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy, was the first European American to ascend to the top of Black Elk Peak; this highest point in the Black Hills is 7,242 feet above sea level. During the 1875–1878 gold rush, thousands of miners went to the Black Hills. Three large towns developed in the Northern Hills: Deadwood, Central City, Lead. Around these were groups of smaller gold camps and villages. Hill City and Custer City sprang up in the Southern Hills. Railroads were constructed to the remote area. From 1880 on, the gold mines yielded about $4,000,000 annually, the silver mines about $3,000,000 annually.
The conflict over control of the region sparked the Black Hills War known as the Great Sioux
Grady County, Oklahoma
Grady County is a county located in the U. S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,431, its county seat is Chickasha. It was named for an editor of the Atlanta Constitution and southern orator. Grady County is part of the Oklahoma City, OK Metropolitan Statistical Area. Grady County was part of the land given to the Choctaw by the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, in exchange for property in the southeastern United States. In 1837, the Chickasaw joined the Choctaws, in 1855 a treaty separated the two tribes, the Chickasaw acquired an area that included much of Grady County. Most of the present Grady County became a part of Pickens County in the Chickasaw Nation. Before the Civil War, Randolph B. Marcy blazed the California Road through this area, reporting a Wichita village. In 1858, while the Comanches were holding a meeting with the Wichita and Chickasaw, Federal troops attacked a party of Comanches. Although the commander of Fort Arbuckle had been informed about the meeting, the troops' commander, Major Earl Van Dorn, had not consulted him before the attack.
As a result, the troops killed four Wichitas. Fearing a Comanche reprisal, the other tribes fled to safety at Fort Arbuckle. At the end of the Civil War, the Five Civilized Tribes and the Caddo, Kiowa, Apache, Cheyenne and Osage signed a peace agreement and pledged to stand united against any unjust demands that the federal government made at the war's end; the agreement was known as the Camp Napoleon Compact. The first railroad in this area was built to the town of Minco in 1890 by the Chicago and Nebraska Railway; the company was acquired by Rock Island and Pacific Railroad during the following year. In 1892, the Rock Island built a track connecting Chickasha and Rush Springs to the Texas border; the same railroad built a line from Chickasha to Magnum in 1900. The Oklahoma City and Western Railroad constructed tracks from Oklahoma City to Chickasha, which it extended to the Texas border in the following year. Between 1906 and 1910, the Oklahoma Central Railway built from Lehigh to Chickasha; the 1898 Curtis Act stripped the Chickasaw Nation of its authority, communal land was forced into allotment, paving the way for statehood.
When Oklahoma acquired statehood in 1907, the Chickasaw Nation ceased to exist, Grady County was organized and Chickasha was named the county seat. In 1911, Grady County annexed Washington, Prairie Valley, the northern section of Dutton townships in Caddo County, Oklahoma. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,105 square miles, of which 1,100 square miles is land and 4.4 square miles is water. The county lies in the Red Bed Plains, is covered with rolling prairie; the Canadian River forms the Washita River runs through the middle. Canadian County McClain County Garvin County Stephens County Comanche County Caddo County As of the census of 2000, there were 45,516 people, 17,341 households, 12,797 families residing in the county; the population density was 41 people per square mile. There were 19,444 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 87.31% White, 3.06% Black or, 4.85% Native American, 0.34% Asians, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.12% from other races, 3.28% from two or more races.
2.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 17,341 households out of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.20% were non-families. 22.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.50% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.02. In the county, the population was spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.30 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,625, the median income for a family was $39,636. Males had a median income of $30,306 versus $21,108 for females; the per capita income for the county was $15,846.
About 10.40% of families and 13.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.90% of those under age 18 and 14.60% of those age 65 or over. The following sites in Grady County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Chickasha Downtown Historic District, Chickasha Grady County Courthouse, Chickasha Griffin House, Chickasha Jewett Site, Bradley Knippelmeir Farmstead, Minco vicinity Minco Armory, Minco New Hope Baptist Church, Chickasha Oklahoma College for Women Historic District, Chickasha Pocasset Gymnasium, Pocasset Rock Island Depot, Chickasha Silver City Cemetery, Tuttle US Post Office and Federal Courthouse, Chickasha Verden Separate School in Verden but relocated to Chickasha Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Grady County Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory
The French are an ethnic group and nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be ethnic, historical, or cultural; the heritage of the French people is of Celtic and Germanic origin, descending from the ancient and medieval populations of Gauls, Ligures, Iberians, Franks and Norsemen. France has long been a patchwork of local customs and regional differences, while most French people still speak the French language as their mother tongue, languages like Norman, Catalan, Corsican, French Flemish, Lorraine Franconian and Breton remain spoken in their respective regions. Arabic is widely spoken, arguably the largest minority language in France as of the 21st century. Modern French society is a melting pot. From the middle of the 19th century, it experienced a high rate of inward migration consisting of Arab-Berbers, Sub-Saharan Africans and other peoples from Africa, the Middle East and East Asia, the government, defining France as an inclusive nation with universal values, advocated assimilation through which immigrants were expected to adhere to French values and cultural norms.
Nowadays, while the government has let newcomers retain their distinctive cultures since the mid-1980s and requires from them a mere integration, French citizens still equate their nationality with citizenship as does French law. In addition to mainland France, French people and people of French descent can be found internationally, in overseas departments and territories of France such as the French West Indies, in foreign countries with significant French-speaking population groups or not, such as Switzerland, the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. To be French, according to the first article of the French Constitution, is to be a citizen of France, regardless of one's origin, race, or religion. According to its principles, France has devoted itself to the destiny of a proposition nation, a generic territory where people are bounded only by the French language and the assumed willingness to live together, as defined by Ernest Renan's "plébiscite de tous les jours" on the willingness to live together, in Renan's 1882 essay "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?").
The debate concerning the integration of this view with the principles underlying the European Community remains open. A large number of foreigners have traditionally been permitted to live in France and succeeded in doing so. Indeed, the country has long valued its openness and the quality of services available. Application for French citizenship is interpreted as a renunciation of previous state allegiance unless a dual citizenship agreement exists between the two countries; the European treaties have formally permitted movement and European citizens enjoy formal rights to employment in the state sector. Seeing itself as an inclusive nation with universal values, France has always valued and advocated assimilation. However, the success of such assimilation has been called into question. There is increasing dissatisfaction with, within, growing ethno-cultural enclaves; the 2005 French riots in some troubled and impoverished suburbs were an example of such tensions. However they should not be interpreted as ethnic conflicts but as social conflicts born out of socioeconomic problems endangering proper integration.
French people are the descendants of Gauls and Romans, western European Celtic and Italic peoples, as well as Bretons, Aquitanians and Germanic people arriving at the beginning of the Frankish Empire such as the Franks, the Visigoths, the Suebi, the Saxons, the Allemanni and the Burgundians, Germanic groups such as the Vikings, who settled in Normandy and to a lesser extent in Brittany in the 9th century. The name "France" etymologically derives from the territory of the Franks; the Franks were a Germanic tribe. In the pre-Roman era, all of Gaul was inhabited by a variety of peoples who were known collectively as the Gaulish tribes, their ancestors were Celts who came from Central Europe in the 7th century BCE, non-Celtic peoples including the Ligures, Aquitanians in Aquitaine. Some in the northern and eastern areas, may have had Germanic admixture. Gaul was militarily conquered in 58–51 BCE by the Roman legions under the command of General Julius Caesar. Over the next six centuries, the two cultures intermingled, creating a hybridized Gallo-Roman culture.
In the late Roman era, in addition to colonists from elsewhere in the Empire and Gaulish natives, Gallia became home to some in-migrating populations of Germanic and Scythian origin, such as Alans. The Gaulish language is thought to have survived into the 6th century in France, despite considerable Romanizat
Blood quantum laws
Blood quantum laws or Indian blood laws are those enacted in the United States and the former Thirteen colonies to define qualification by ancestry as Native American, sometimes in relation to tribal membership. These laws were developed by European Americans and thus did not reflect how Native Americans had traditionally identified themselves or members of their in-group, thus ignored the Native American practices of absorbing other peoples by adoption, beginning with other Native Americans, extending to children and young adults of European and African ancestry. Blood quantum laws ignored tribal cultural continuity after tribes had absorbed such adoptees and multiracial children. Tribal enrollments were incomplete or inaccurate for multiple reasons. A person's blood quantum is defined as the fraction of their ancestors, out of their total ancestors, who are documented as full-blood Native Americans. For instance, a person who has one parent, a full-blood Native American and one who has no Native ancestry has a blood quantum of 1/2.
Since re-establishing self-government and asserting sovereignty, some tribes may use blood quantum as part of their requirements for membership or enrollment in combination with other criteria. For instance, the Omaha Nation requires a blood quantum of 1/4 Native American and descent from a registered ancestor for enrollment. In 1705 the Colony of Virginia adopted laws that limited civil rights of Native Americans and persons of one-half or more Native American ancestry; the concept of blood quantum was not applied by the United States government until the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. At that time, the government required persons to have a certain blood quantum to be recognized as Native American and be eligible for financial and other benefits under treaties or sales of land. Since that time, Native American nations have re-established their own governments, asserting sovereignty in setting their own rules for tribal membership, which vary among them. In some cases, individuals may qualify as tribal members, but not as American Indian for the purposes of certain federal benefits, which are still defined in relation to blood quantum.
In the early 21st century, some tribes, such as the Cherokee and Wampanoag, tightened their membership rules and excluded persons, considered members. Challenges to such policies have been pursued by those excluded. Though individuals can self-identify as Native American, Native Americans are the only racial group in the United States that has to have proof of ancestry to receive government benefits. European Americans passed "Indian Blood law" or blood quantum law to regulate who would be classified as Native American; the Constitution uses the word “Indian” twice but never bothers to define it. The first such law was passed in 1705 in the Colony of Virginia, to define Native Americans and to restrict the civil rights of people who were half or more Native American. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the US government believed tribal members had to be defined, for the purposes of federal benefits or annuities paid under treaties resulting from land cessions. Many traditionalist Native Americans, known as “irreconcilables” or “blanket Indians,” were so suspicious of the government that they refused to enroll at all, making all their descendants unenrollable as well.
Many Native American tribes did not use blood quantum law until the government introduced the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Some tribes, such as the Navajo Nation, did not adopt the type of written constitution suggested in that law until the 1950s. Given intermarriage among tribes those that are related and have settled near each other, critics object to the federal requirement that individuals identify as belonging to only one tribe when defining blood quantum, they believe this reduces an individual's valid membership in more than one tribe, as well as costing some persons their qualification as Native American because of having ancestry from more than one tribe but not 1/4 or more from one tribe. Overall, the numbers of registered members of many Native American tribes have been reduced because of tribal laws that define and limit the definition of acceptable blood quantum. "The U. S. census decennial enumerations indicate a Native American population growth for the United States, nearly continuous since 1900, to 1.42 million by 1980 and to over 1.9 million by 1990."
In the 2000 census, there were 2.5 million American Indians. Since 1960, people may self-identify their ancestry on the US Census. Indian activism and a rising interest in Native American history appear to have resulted in more individuals identifying as having Native American ancestry on the census. For decades, individual tribes had established their own requirements for membership. In some cases, they have excluded members. Common tribal membership requirements required documented lineal descent from a Native American member listed on a prior tribal rations-issue roll, or the Dawes Rolls for the'Five Civilized Tribes' in Oklahoma, or a late 19th-century census. Unlike the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act, many tribes allow members to claim ancestry in more than one tribe. For instance, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians accept persons of 1/4 North American Indian ancestry