OverviewA 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, The Great Vanishing Act, 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.
Author BiographyNorbert S. Hill, Jr., of the Oneida Tribe, has developed and administered educational programs for American Indian and disadvantaged youths for more than twenty years. Hill was executive director of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society for many years and advocates education as the route to economic power. Under his leadership, this national nonprofit organization evolved into a major resource for increasing the number of American Indian scientists and engineers. He also edited Words of Power: Voices from Indian America. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and three children. Kathleen Ratteree began working with the Oneida Nation Trust and Enrollment Committee in 2013. She has served as project manager for Sustain Oneida, a subcommittee of Trust and Enrollment. She assists in facilitating constructive community dialogue on tribal enrollment criteria. Over the past three years she has written a series of articles for the Oneida tribal newspaper, The Kalihwisaks, on identity, citizenship, blood quantum, demographics, sovereignty, and tribal governance. The articles are designed to raise awareness of enrollment issues and population trends, and they encourage community engagement in the membership/citizenship dialogue. Kathleen holds a master of science in medical anthropology, and a master of public health and a certificate of global health from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Kathleen lives just outside Green Bay, WI, with her husband, two young children, a 100-pound dog, twelve chickens, and various wildlife.