The Lipan Apache Tribe Community Page
(Frequently Asked Questions)

1. I believe my ancestor was Lipan Apache. How do I find out more?

We are sorry. The Lipan Apache Tribe's office does not research Lipan descent for people. Member information including their genealogies are confidential. We also cannot recommend any genealogist, but you can internet search for genealogists who specialize in Native American ancestry. They may be able to help.

Always, we recommend that you talk to your elders and listen to their stories. They may have oral history and important documents and pictures that can point you to your ancestral tribe.

2. Can a DNA test show what percentage of Native American I am or from what tribe my ancestry is?

Sadly, no to both questions, with a minor exception to the latter. No DNA test can show what percentage you are of any ancestry, ethnic or racial. This is a deceptive claim and only by reading very fine print can one get at the truth of what a person's DNA is actually being compared to and the limitations of testing results. So it is IMPOSSIBLE to determine that one is a particular percentage of Native American, for example, 25% or 64%. It is also not possible for such DNA tests to definitely identify the tribe or nation that one belongs to. Those tests are limited to incomplete sampling in a testing organization's database which are from mostly modern populations. The exception to using a DNA to show tribal affiliation would be a Paternity or Maternity type test were a person is comparing their DNA to a person they believe to be their relative and who is a member of a known tribe.

So do DNA tests have any value in determining if you have American Indian ancestry? DNA is complicated, so the answer is also complicated: these tests can possibly indicate that you have such ancestry but not definitely. To learn more about American Indian DNA tests, read Kim Tallbear's book "Native American DNA" and NCAI's webpage on Genetics Resource Center

3. How do I enroll in the Lipan Apache Tribe?

NOTE from the Tribal Council: Enrollment is currently closed for all families including relatives of members and it is uncertain when the Tribal Council will vote to open enrollment again. When we are accepting applications again, members will be notified through the e-newsletter and the news with instructions will be posted on the Community page of our website.

The Tribe accepts enrollments only on a periodic basis. When the Tribe opens enrollment, instructions on how to enroll will be posted on our website. There is no fee to apply for enrollment. Our Tribal enrollment is based on descendancy, not blood quantum.

4. How do I get a Tribal ID?

You must be an enrolled member of the Lipan Apache Tribe in order to have a Tribal ID card. In order to apply for the card, you must also have your assigned tribal identification number. If you do not know your number, you can retrieve it by emailing us at and requesting a look-up.

To request an ID card application, email your name, tribal identification number, current home address, and phone number to time cards cost $20 each. Remember, ID cards are optional for our members.

Questions about Tribal IDs? Contact: Robert Soto.

5. What benefits am I eligible for as an enrolled member of the Lipan Apache Tribe?

The Lipan Apache Tribe is a State-Recognized tribe. And although we are working towards this goal, our tribe is not yet federally recognized. Therefore, we do not qualify for much of the support available to members of federally acknowledged tribes. As a Tribal member, your most important benefit is supporting our community and honoring your ancestors by preserving and sharing our culture, language, history, and traditions. Although the State of Texas does not provide benefits to our members, there are still some benefits you may be eligible for:

(a) Scholarships. There are scholarship opportunities available to members of State-recognized tribes. Information about this can be found on the website on the Home page and under the Education tab or go directly to Check the website often, since it is updated as information on new scholarship opportunities becomes available. Visit the linked websites of organizations that are providing the scholarships. These organizations provide contact information if you have specific questions about the scholarships.
(b) Possible health benefits for Tribal members who are not Texas residents. In some states, the Indian Health Service will provide low cost or free health services to members of State-recognized tribes but this varies from state to state, so you will need to check with your local Indian Health Service office.

6. As an enrolled member, how can I help the Tribe?

Stay informed. Check the website often. Donations are needed in order to continue our work for you. You can donate safely online with your PayPal account or credit card at If you have questions, comments or suggestions, contact a Tribal Council member. Offer to volunteer your skills. Represent your Tribe proudly to the outside world.

7. How can I learn more about Lipan Apache culture and language?

For basic information about Lipan culture, click the Museum tab on the Home page. You can also read Nancy McGown Minor's book The Light Gray People. For questions and information about Lipan language, contact: David Gohre or Linda Walking Woman.

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Lipan Apache Tribe
P.O. Box 5218
McAllen, Texas 78502