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Our Nation > Government > Tribal Government Services (CDIB/Citizenship) > Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB)

Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB)

The Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) is an official U.S. document, issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which certifies an individual has a specific degree of Native American blood of a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village or community. Individuals who want to prove their Chickasaw Indian blood should complete the CDIB application. The application is a family tree chart that must be submitted along with the required documents and supporting documents if needed.

The CDIB does not establish citizenship with the Chickasaw Nation. Once Chickasaw applicants receive the CDIB, they are eligible to apply for citizenship in the Chickasaw Nation.

For more information about genealogy research, contact Holisso: The Center for Study of Chickasaw History and Culture.

Replacement CDIB Cards

If you have lost or misplaced your CDIB card, complete the Replacement of CDIB application or contact tribal government services to request an application be mailed to you.

How Do I Obtain a CDIB?

Step 1: Trace Lineal Ancestry

The first step in obtaining a CDIB is to research and identify lineal descendants (parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc.) to an original Chickasaw enrollee “by blood” as listed on the Final Approved Rolls of the Dawes Commission. Please note, direct lineal descendants do not include: aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to conduct research and provide all related information- roll number of lineal ancestor (only the original enrollee will have a roll number), Chickasaw lineage with names, dates of birth, dates of death, etc.- and provide all required and/or requested documents in order to validate lineage.

Applications for the Final Approved Rolls of the Dawes Commission for the Five Civilized Tribes were accepted from 1898-1907, which created a list of Native Americans by blood in Indian Territory during this time.  A few additional people were accepted by an Act of Congress in 1914.

The Genealogy Archive Center at the Holisso: The Center for Study of Chickasaw History and Culture on the campus of the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma, can provide a wealth of information and assistance when seeking Native American ancestors. Information such as family names, birth and death years, parents’ names, marriages dates and tribal affiliation are needed to aid genealogy staff with the research.

Additional geneology information may be available at the tribal library in Ada, Oklahoma.

Step 2:  Complete an Application

The application is a family tree chart and must be submitted along with the required documents (as listed in Step 3) and supporting documents if needed.

  1. Fill out the CDIB application completely.
  2. Applicant, parent or legal guardian must sign and date the Notices and Certification form, included with the CDIB application.
  3. Ensure the Sworn Statement Affidavit, included with the CDIB application, is signed by the Native American parent(s) and notarized.
    1. If two parents are listed on the applicant’s birth certificate, both are required to sign the affidavit if both are Native American.
    2. If the Native American parent is deceased, the deceased parent’s original state certified death certificate must be submitted if it is not already on file.
Step 3:  Provide All Required Documents

Original state certified birth certificates, original state certified delayed birth certificates and original state certified death certificates may be obtained from the state vital statistics or vital records office (name varies by state) for the state in which the person was born or deceased.

  1. Attach an original, state certified birth certificate as issued by the state vital statistics or vital records office.
    1. Must be an original. Copies cannot be accepted.
    2. Must be state issued long form/book copy (birth certificates).  County, city, short-form or hospital birth certificates are not acceptable.
    3. Must contain the state file number
    4. Must have the state registrar’s signature
    5. A delayed state certified birth certificate will need a secondary supporting document, such as:
      1. An SS5 (for deceased individuals and obtained from the Social Security Administration) – must list parents name(s),
      2. Proof of heirship (must state lineal relationship),
      3. Wills (must state lineal relationship),
      4. Probates (must state lineal relationship),
      5. Or numident which must list parent's name(s) (for living individuals and obtained from the Social Security Administration)
  2. Last name change requires legal name change document (marriage license or divorce decree).
  3. Full name or last name change due to any other reason requires the following:
    1. Original state certified birth certificate (prior to name change), 
    2. Court order,
    3. And amended state certified birth certificate showing new last name
  4. If a person is adopted, they may apply for a CDIB and Chickasaw citizenship if one or both of natural (biological) parent(s) is Chickasaw “by blood.” Adoptions will require additional steps and additional documentation will be required.
  5. Other supporting documentation may also be requested at the discretion of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or tribal government services.

If anyone in your direct lineage has been issued a CDIB card previously, the required state certified birth and death certificates may already be on file; however, if upon review we find these documents missing, you will receive a pending letter requesting those documents be submitted before your application can be processed.

If no one in direct lineage has ever been issued a CDIB, the original state certified (long form) birth certificates and original state certified death certificates, as issued by the state vital statistics or vital records office must be provided for each person in your lineage from you back to and including the original enrollee.

Step 4: Submit Completed Forms

Submit completed forms along with the required documents to tribal government services.

TGS will review the CDIB application and verify the documentation submitted by the applicant then forward to the BIA for the final approval or denial of a CDIB.

When BIA returns an approved CDIB application, TGS will mail the card to the applicant.

If a CDIB application is denied, the BIA will mail a denial letter to the applicant.

Step 5: Apply for Chickasaw Citizenship

forms & documents

Related Forms

CDIB Application

Replacement of CDIB Application