isn’t cherokee one of those “catchall” tribal relations? IOW since there was so much intermarriage a claim can be stated for just about anyone. (as long as you don’t also claim a piece of the casinos)
Its been reported her ancestors were part of the Fugarwee tribe.
Pre-1960's, intermarriage and assimilation was seen as a necessity to ensure tribal survival.
Post-1960's, rules on minimum blood (usually at least one grandparent) were generally imposed in order to limit tribal membership and ensure greater distribution of "stuff" to those on the team. Smaller teams = more goodies to distribute. Some tribal lines can be combined to claim membership such as the Mandan and Arikara in North Dakota. Most cannot. Thus, if you are 1/8th Cherokee and 1/8th Sioux, your combined 1/4th doesn't count for either tribe.