History of Enrollment Criteria
Enrollment criteria is outlined in the the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT) Constitution via the Enrollment Ordinance. The original MCT Constitution was approved in 1936 and included lineal descent as a criteria for enrollment; since that time, many discussions have been held on what criteria should or should not be used to determine membership.
The following documents outline some of the discussions on enrollment criteria throughout the 1940s; during this time the MCT was comprised of not only the Tribal Executive Committee (TEC), but also Tribal Delegates (each of the six Reservations had representation based on their population). Many discussions about enrollment criteria; specifically degree of blood, lineal descent, and residency were debated; by this time the US government had started to use 1/4 degree blood quantum as criteria for many services and was applying pressure to the Tribe to do the same.
Although the TEC passed resolutions to continue with lineal descent as the enrollment criteria, the Secretary of the Interior would not approve of it. Finally in 1961 the enrollment criteria was changed to require 1/4 degree MCT blood.
Following are some historical pieces of information that document the struggles officials were facing at that time:
March 31, 1942 Memorandum for Mr. Flanery from the Assistant Commissioner
November 3, 1942 Memorandum for the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from Oscar L. Chapman, Assistant Secretary
December 28, 1942 Letter to Ed M. Wilson, President, MCT, from Oscar L. Chapman, Assistant Secretary Minnesota Chippew Delegation
August 25, 1949 Letter and copies of resolutions from Lyzeme Savage, MCT Manager, to John R. Nichols, Commissioner of Indian Affairs
December 1949 Letter to Mr. Savage (MCT) from William E. Warne, Secretary of the Interior
1961 TEC Minutes document discussions on who should be enrolled
1966 TEC Resolution 34-66, Procedures for developing current membership roll
1968 TEC Resolution 31-68 defining "because of an error"
1979 TEC Resolution 110-79 revoking "because of an error"