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Pamunkey Indians consider our tribe to consist of individuals who have BOTH a common ancestry AND social contact to the Pamunkey tribal body itself.  Ancestry must be traced to a specific group of historical Pamunkey Tribal members identified by both the Pamunkey Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Social contact requires pre-existing mutual socialization with the Pamunkey tribal body and its members to a level determined satisfactory by the Pamunkey Tribe.  These criteria may surprise individuals who assume that ancestry and a particular blood quantum are all that is required.  As a sovereign nation, the Pamunkey Tribe reserves the right to decide its own membership and we have chosen these criteria to ensure a focus on the social aspect of what it means to be a tribe versus simply being a family tree.   Our tribal roll was formalized based on these criteria within the last few years as part of our petition for federal acknowledgement and we have membership files for all tribal members that consist of written documentation and birth records provided by those individuals.  If you provided such records, it is likely you are considered a member.  If you don't know or are unsure, see below.


For those individuals seeking tribal membership or verification that they are on the tribal roll, we do not provide contact information because we assume that you will already have sufficient social contact to the tribe to know how to make the necessary inquiries.  We do not have a paid staff to respond to the sheer number of such inquiries.

Individuals who do contact the tribe regarding membership issues are advised that the Pamunkey Tribe reserves the right to choose whether or not to respond.  Unsolicited documents will not be returned and will be disposed of as decided by the Pamunkey Tribe.  Unsolicited monies will not be returned and will be donated to the Pamunkey Indian Museum and Cultural Center.

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