Synopses & Reviews
A person's blood quantum is defined as the percentage of their ancestors who are documented as full-blood Native Americans. The US federal government uses a blood quantum minimum as a measure of "Indian" identity to manage tribal enrollments and access to cultural and social services. Evidence suggests that if current demographic trends continue, within a few generations tribes will legally disappear. Through essays, personal stories, case studies, satire, and poetry, a lauded collection of international contributors will explore blood quantum as biology and as cultural metaphor. Featuring diverse and talented Native voices representing different generations, backgrounds, and literary styles, Blood Quantum Quandaries addresses the most critical issue facing Native Americans and all indigenous populations in the 21st century and hopes to redefine the meaning of cultural citizenship.
The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 was the US government's attempt to define who "Indians" were. Among the criteria the act set was a blood quantum, which declared that "Indians" were "all other persons of one-half or more Indian blood." Today, many tribes wrestle with the legacy of blood quantum and "Indian" identity, as they work to manage tribal enrollment and social services. As the bloodlines grow increasingly diluted, within a few generation, recognized tribes might legally disappear. Through essays, personal stories, case studies, satire, and poetry, The Great Vanishing Act brings together writers from around the world to explore the biological and cultural metaphor of blood quantum, the most critical issue facing Indigenous populations in the twenty-first century.