Today I called the Choctaw Nation and I found out that even if you are Native American you have to be a direct descendent of a person who's NAME APPEARS on the DAWES list, BETWEEN 1898 to 1906 on INDIAN TERRITORY at the time.
http://www.nls.uk/blogs/bartholomew/index.cfm/2009/2/13/The-Indian-Territory Map of Indian Territory.
If your family didn't take the roll number, and didn't go and live on Indian land they are discounted.
As I understand it, Indians weren't listed on US census records because they were not citizens, and the DAWES is an index of all the Indian people. The records are strange, and list things like by blood, full blood, 1/2 and other percentages.
It is just interesting, because Indians were all over the nation, and probably a lot of people have some historical connection, yet unless it was on that record, in that small time, it doesn't seem to count.
Also, becuase I live in California, and we have reservations here, Mono comes to mind but there are other tribes as well, and I saw reservations out in Arizona; it just never occured to me that a time and place would be the only proof, at least that counts, of an Indian heritage.
If any one has any other information, I am open to listen.