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Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama facts for kids

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Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama
Total population
Regions with significant populations
United States United States (Alabama Alabama)
English, Cherokee

The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama (CTNEAL), formerly the Cherokees of Jackson County, 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 federally recognized.

They have submitted a petition for federal recognition.

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.

Tribal events

The tribe hosts two American Indian Festivals each year in Grant, Alabama which are open to the public.

Membership criteria

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.

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