My step-dad's side of the family (including my 2 half-sisters) are Cherokee. It never meant much to us until my uncle and dad got sick...uncle has MS, dad had a combination of flu/diabetes/heart attack that almost killed him. My uncle had been paying astronomical medical bills until one of his health care providers asked if he was Native American (you wouldn't guess it from looking, red hair, lol) and he told them he was Cherokee...then the Cherokee Nation health benefits kicked in. Better doctors, medications covered (he was paying about $3k a month out of pocket for meds, after insurance)...it saved him from bankruptcy. Then my dad got sick, they had to airlift him to a regional hospital. Even though mom and dad had insurance coverage specifically for that, it still would have wiped out their retirement if the Cherokee Nation hadn't picked up what insurance didn't cover.
Personally, I was told for 20 years that my side of the family was part Indian. Then my mom got into geneology...nada. Irish, Irish, and more Irish. Apparently the only part of my family that wasn't Irish was a Danish baker back in the 1600's that gave us a Germanic last name. I'm still thankful for the Cherokee Nation and what they've done for my family, though.
I used to think 1/64th was the cutoff for benefits, but I believe that was incorrect, you just have to have proof of ancestry.
Pow-wows are fun.