From these responses I am clearly the only anthropologist who works with native americans. yes, you can claim your native american status, but there are many (many) exceptions to this rule. Let me spell them out for you, because the chances you qualify are slim, and the school WILL verify this. You need a Bureau of Indian Affairs card, which you may be eligible for. However, to be eligible varies from tribe to tribe. This variation depends on how the tribe classifies its own kinship system. Some count only those from either the matrilineal (your mother's side) or patrilineal (your father's side). And when I say your mother's side, I mean your mother's mother is the only eligible link to the tribe. No relative in this branch of your family tree? You're out of luck. If you don't have the BIA card yet, you're pretty much out of luck- this is a multi-year process to get on many tribal rosters and apply. In your specific situation, I think you are playing with fire. do you really want to explain to the bar why you claimed native american status even though you are not a tribal member? You will get eaten alive. FYI, Native Americans are the ONLY ethnic minority which requires proof for any education benefit. Why? Because you think for some reason you're a freakin cherokee princess because that's what your mama told you. The better possibility is that you are part black and your family told people they were part native american. Think I'm drinking the haterade? about half the cases my firm has gotten to prove anestry (particularly cherokee princesses have no affiliation whatsoever. I'd be ASHAMED to do what you are suggesting.