cindydoc

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Mar 8, 2007
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Hi All,

I marked native american on the applications, and rightly so. I identify as native, have family members who live on the rez although I myself am not a tribal member. I am very much involved in the native community with employment, volunteer, internships, etc. I am now feeling a bit torn b/c I do not have the 1/4 "blood quantum" which I think is a bit ridiculous considering no other race needs to prove anything. Although I can prove my tribal affliation, what do people think of my "identity struggle"? Should I be feeling bad about this?

On a side note: I am by no means disadvantaged and have made that very clear in applications.
 

Phoenix.

Emdee Jaydee
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I'm no adcom member, but personally, I'd say you're fine given your activities, family, personal identity and native american community ECs. However, if I were you, I'd call my pre-med advisor and ask whether you need to show tribal registration or not. It'd be good to know going into interviews, ya know? And if you don't have an advisor, maybe call your state school and ask if there's someone you can talk to about native american status. I've called one or two med schools with application-type questions, and they've never once asked my name or anything - it was just conversational and very helpful. Regardless, good luck. No need to feel "guilty" about putting down "native american" if that is how you identify yourself. "Native American" does not need to equal economically disadvantaged. They're looking for ethnic diversity with the ethnicity question, not economic disadvantage, which is a different "box" altogether. At least that's my opinion.
 

postbacker

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Hi All,

I marked native american on the applications, and rightly so. I identify as native, have family members who live on the rez although I myself am not a tribal member. I am very much involved in the native community with employment, volunteer, internships, etc. I am now feeling a bit torn b/c I do not have the 1/4 "blood quantum" which I think is a bit ridiculous considering no other race needs to prove anything. Although I can prove my tribal affliation, what do people think of my "identity struggle"? Should I be feeling bad about this?

On a side note: I am by no means disadvantaged and have made that very clear in applications.
Did you qualify for this status in college? If yes, is the medical school qualification somehow different, or harder to prove? What exactly is your complaint?

I know that for college admissions, lots of people "checked the box" who did not have the proper credentials, tribal certificates, etc., but if you have already done it with college, seems like it should be a snap for medical school...
 
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Phoenix.

Emdee Jaydee
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Did you qualify for this status in college? If yes, is the medical school qualification somehow different, or harder to prove? What exactly is your complaint?

I know that for college admissions, lots of people "checked the box" who did not have the proper credentials, tribal certificates, etc., but if you have already done it with college, seems like it should be a snap for medical school...
I don't think the OP made any complaint at all. Sounds like she's just worried because she checked off the "native american" box on AMCAS (which is how she identifies herself), and is now concerned because she doesn't have official tribal registration and is not 1/4 native american by blood. I think that the only useful advice she might get from SDN on this issue is from people who are adcoms, people who applied as native american in the past or in this cycle, or people who spoke to their advisors about this very issue.

OP, I also recommend doing some searches for "native american" in this forum and in the URM Forum. But the best thing to do would be to ask an advisor or call a med school (or perhaps even call AMCAS). Good luck.
 

bjolly

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whose rule is the 1/4 blood thing? Is that required for you to be a registered tribal member? If you have the option to become a tribal member that would seem to solve your problem.

I don't think you have anything to feel bad about. You clearly have legitimate ties to the NA community and have shown that in your activities. To me, that should be more important than whether your heritage is 1/4 NA or 3/16.
 

scowdeva

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I know I have posted on here before, but this may be applicable to the OP's post...

It is my understanding that you needed to be a full 1/8, not 1/4. I think that there are very few people who could prove that amount of Native American heritage...the fact is there has been a ton of mixing in the last few generations. My advisor told me 1/8, if you have it confirmed elsewhere please let me know. As to proving you are NA by being tribal affiliated....you do not have to be tribal affiliated to have that heritage. If a school requested my card, which I doubt they would seriously do (are they going to ask people of Mexican or African-American descent for thier credentials????) that would be a huge turn off for me. I've never heard of this happening, so once again, anyone with more info please share! I wouldnt stress about it too much, if you can talk about why your background and culture influences your life you should be fine!
 

OCallag

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Definitely check with an advisor or check with a school admissions office to see. I agree with Phoenix that, because of your activities, you definitely should be considered a native american, but as you know the aamc has weird rules. I think it's a very legitimate concern, so don't be scared to ask all those people that would know for sure.
 

jochi1543

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I dunno how it works in the US, but in Canada they are really particular about this, since Aboriginals have lower requirements to apply (say, 3.3 instead of a 3.7 cutoff - may not be the exact numbers, but on that order), so lots of people try and work the system. I know here you generally need to be a Registered Indian, show the card, AND you need to provide recommendation letters from something like three people in your band - otherwise, you can't apply as an Aboriginal. You also have at least one Native interviewer and are thoroughly grilled on Aboriginal healthcare issues. So at least here, "authenticity" is a huge issue. If you are not a member of the tribe and do not have an Indian card, your work with the Aboriginal community will be a bonus, but will not put you in a special pool.
 

OCallag

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I dunno how it works in the US, but in Canada they are really particular about this, since Aboriginals have lower requirements to apply (say, 3.3 instead of a 3.7 cutoff - may not be the exact numbers, but on that order), so lots of people try and work the system. I know here you generally need to be a Registered Indian, show the card, AND you need to provide recommendation letters from something like three people in your band - otherwise, you can't apply as an Aboriginal. You also have at least one Native interviewer and are thoroughly grilled on Aboriginal healthcare issues. So at least here, "authenticity" is a huge issue. If you are not a member of the tribe and do not have an Indian card, your work with the Aboriginal community will be a bonus, but will not put you in a special pool.
Daaaaaaaaaaaaannnnggggggggg.
 

scowdeva

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Well, in all my spare time this evening I called and checked with two schools I was applying at to see specifically what they had to say. I called MSU CHM and NYMC, and got the same confused answer from both...both ladies I spoke with told me they had never heard of having to have proof of your ethnicity with any regard. I was told to bring my tribal info if I wanted, but it was not required for the interview (they could say this for sure, said they were unsure if I would need to file it with the office of diversity if I matriculated). This is straight from those two schools, so I guess if the OP finds out otherwise, add it up! If I get interviews from more schools, I'll call and ask for sure. Frankly, it kind of offends me that I would have to prove my ancestry, but I guess what can ya do if there are people out there milkin the system?....
 
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