Eastern Cherokee leaders discuss DNA tests and enrollment
Leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina say the tribe might need to conduct DNA tests to address current and future enrollment issues.

The tribe hired The Falmouth Institute to look at its membership rolls. Out of about 14,000 members, the audit found about 1,400 cases where a person did not meet enrollment requirements.

"Going forth DNA is the only way to correct this issue. I’ve said this from day one," said Principal Chief Michell Hicks, The Smoky Mountain News reported.

Some council members agree. They say DNA tests will help determine whether someone should be enrolled.

"Let’s start doing DNA. We've got that technology, and we need to utilize it. Instead of putting people on that aren’t supposed to be," said council member Diamond Brown, the paper reported.

Enrollment is linked to the Baker Roll, a document from the 1920s. Members must be a lineal descendant of someone on the roll and must have at least 1/16 degree of Eastern Cherokee blood.

The tribe has limited new enrollments until the audit is resolved.

Get the Story:
Cherokee enrollment quandary leads to talk of DNA testing (The Smoky Mountain News 5/19)
The EBCI enrollment audit at a glance (The Smoky Mountain News 5/19)<

Related Stories:
Eastern Cherokees debate next move in enrollment audit (4/28)
Lynne Harlan: Cherokee membership linked to federal roll (4/2)