RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — New race modifications on birth and death certificates in North Carolina are available for American Indians, according to a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services news release.

All death certificates registered or amended in the North Carolina Database Application for Vital Events Electronic Death Registration System and issued by the NCDHHS Office of Vital Records include the following race and tribal affiliation options for decedents who identified as American Indian:

  • American Indian
  • American Indian – Coharie
  • American Indian – Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  • American Indian – Haliwa-Saponi
  • American Indian – Lumbee
  • American Indian – Meherrin
  • American Indian – Waccamaw-Siouan
  • American Indian – Sappony
  • American Indian – Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation

The above options will also be made available on Jan. 1 for parent(s) race and tribal affiliation for all births registered or amended in the NCDAVE Electronic Birth Registration System and issued by NCOVR.

According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, more than 130,000 American Indians live in North Carolina, making it the seventh-largest American Indian population in the United States. 

“This change is long overdue and will help preserve the rich history of American Indian culture in North Carolina,” said Rev. Ricky Burnett, chairman of the NC Commission of Indian Affairs.