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Our local Native American tribe operates on a matriarchal system with
enrollment in the tribe based on your mother's status with the tribe. That
is if your mother is "enrolled" then so are her children. However,
individuals usually assume their father's last name. It often results with
some interesting situations. There are many children who are enrolled members
of the tribe (like their mother) with Smith, Jones or another non-Native
American name as there father is not Native American. Then there are also
those with a traditional Native American name such as WhiteEagle who are not
enrolled as a Native American as their mother is not Native American and
their father is.
And we wonder how the trend for hyphenated names started!
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