"I've asked them what defines a Navajo," he said. "One said you have to speak the language. Another said you have to live within our sacred mountains. Another said no, you have to take part in ceremonial life. All this in one family."
"It's where you place your political, cultural, emotional allegiance. She lived her entire life and never had any association whatsoever with any community," said Mr. Wilkins, an enrolled member of the Lumbee tribe and professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota.