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Tribal Membership

Daniel D. Old Horn and Timothy McCleary. 1995. Apsáalooke Social and Family Structure. Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency, Montana.

Under the oppressive rules of the Federal government, the Crow people have been forced to accept a genetic definition of membership within the Tribe. That is, the Bureau of Indian Affairs dictates that a person must have at least one grandparent (or one quarter degree of ancestry) that is verifiably Crow. However, the Crow people, as with all bone fide Nations accept the general definition of kinship for membership into Crow society. Although kinship is generally based on some kind of biological relationship, the ways in which a society defines and groups kin relations is cultural, and may or may not be based on biological ties.

The Crow recognize three relationships as foundational to the Tribe. These are blood ties (consanguineal), marriage ties (affinal), and adoption (fictive). These relationships, based on blood, marriage, and adoption, intertwine individuals in sets of rights and obligations to being Crow people.