Senator Charles Brown: Speaking of Indians, what is your definition of an Indian?
Mrs. Jane Penn: (Morongo California Reservation) Briefly, I would say a person who is half could be either one, but when you get less than half you are more of one than you are of another.
Senator Brown: I just wanted to know that question came up...
Mrs. Penn: for different purposes the government classifies them as one eighth,one quarter without giving us a true definition. . . I believe a person more than half, would be that but in our case, (on our reservation) we have one sixteenth (and one thirty second)
Mr Leonard M Hill (Sacramento area director, Bureau of Indian affairs):
To answer that Senator, there is no definition contemplated under this act.
I think I mentioned it that the government itself has that question before it., trying to find some definition of an Indian. There was a bill presented to congress last session which made a definition that any one with less than half blood was not an Indian and is not entitled to services. They are still talking about it in the Department of the Interior, and in the congressional committees on how to define an Indian. . . and it is not possible under our multiplcity of laws and regulations to define it. You have to look for the purpose of which you are trying trying to define an Indian. . . .for some purposes. . .he must be quarter-blood and live on trust land. for educational purposes. . . he must be quarter blood or more. . . I just think there is any definition that you can give to an Indian. . . . He is an Indian for some purposes and for other purposes he isn't an Indian, so there just isn't any clear definition.
Seanator Way: I think we should have a definition of an Indian who comes under this act.
Mr. Hill: Well sir, a definition in. . .the act defines a tribal group of Indians and I believe it states those Indians that reside on and have an interest in Trust Property.
Senator Way: I still don't know what is a person that is described as an Indian.. . .
Mr Hill: I am sorry I cannot make a definition. . . We in the Indian bureau are concerned with this also.
WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEFINE AN NDIAN