A lot of research on Native American ancestry does not require an attorney. MILS will help individuals if they face legal barriers to getting needed information, especially if there have been adoptions in the family tree. Having Indian ancestry is different than being a tribal member. Tribes, as sovereign governments, set their own citizenship rules. These are often found in the tribe’s constitution or tribal code. Also, most tribal governments have created enrollment ordinances and have special offices for this purpose.
Many tribes require a Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood (CBID) to become a tribal member. Some tribes request that you apply for a CDIB through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and others issue their own CBID through their tribal enrollment offices. To apply for a CDIB through the BIA, use this form.
The following resources provide more information about Indian ancestry and enrollment:
The BIA has information on Enrollment and Genealogy.
NARF provides resources to assist you in tracing your Family History.
NARF also has a guide to tribal Enrollment.