Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States ( Alabama)|
The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama (CTNEAL) is a state-recognized Native American tribe of about 3,000 members. The tribe is recognized by the State of Alabama, and has a representative on the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission and the Inter-Tribal Council of Alabama. It is one of nine state-recognized tribes but is not currently a federally recognized tribe. They have submitted a petition for federal recognition. 
The tribe elects a Principal Chief, two Vice Chiefs and Tribal Commissioner, as well as representatives to a tribal Council. A Circle of Elders and a Warrior Society also contribute to leadership. Elections are held every three years.
Establishment and name
The tribe was incorporated on December 11, 1980 as the Cherokees of Jackson County. As it grew in membership, it changed its name to the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama to reflect a larger geographic area.
The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama requires all potential members to have verifiable Cherokee descent. The rolls are open to any person who can document Cherokee ancestry. It does not require a minimum blood quantum.
In addition to verifiable, lineal descent from a Cherokee ancestor(s), CTNEAL also has a residency requirement for membership. CTNEAL requires that potential members meet at least one of three requirements;
- Reside within the state of Alabama
- Reside within a 500-miles radius of Pinson, Alabama
- Descend from an enrolled CTNEAL citizen who lives/lived within Alabama or the residency radius.
CTNEAL considers its citizens to be what the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs defines as Category IV Cherokee descendants. As members of a state-recognized tribe, CTNEAL individuals are eligible to participate in organizations such as the National Congress of American Indians. They can identify as Native Americans under the US Indian Arts and Crafts Act when selling crafts or art, but they are not eligible for other federal benefits.
- State recognized tribes
- Alabama Indian Affairs Commission
- Native American identity in the United States
- National Congress of American Indians
- Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990
- "Petitions for Federal Recognition". 500nations.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- "The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama". State of Alabama Indian Affairs Commission. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Tribes". aiac.alabama.gov. Archived from the original on 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- "Cherokee Of Alabama". native-american-online.org. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- "STAFF- ITCALA / Inter-Tribal Council of Alabama". itcala.org. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
- Shelly McDonald, Linda Tassin. "List of Federal and State Recognized Tribes". ncsl.org. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
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