Fawn Douglas, Blood Quantum, canvas, clay, sinew, acrylic, 31”x 14.5, 2019

 

In 1934, The Indian Reorganization Act determined what it meant to be “Indian” based on blood quantum. Native American’s are the only people within the United States that have a blood quantum number attached to their names. Currently, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe stipulates within its Constitution and bylaws that a member must be ¼ Southern Paiute descended from the 1940 United States Census Role. Since the beginning of The New Deal era, many tribes’ enrollment numbers have decreased. The current state of Native affairs as it pertains to enrollment are critical for many tribes. Sovereignty is the tribes right to self-governance and ultimately determines who is and who is not a member of their tribe. There are many Indigenous people that have gone through legal battles, family issues and more to claim their roots. Tribal identity is important to Native people as we work to dismantle the colonial constructs that have held us down since 1492. We continue to fight for recognition every single day. Strips of paint and red clay-stained cloth are ripped and then hand sewn back together with sinew. Some strips had more or less pigment to them. It reflects the issue of blood quantum and to realize that we are torn from the same cloth.

©2015 Artist Fawn

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