I've found out in my travels into the past with my genealogy research that if there's no paperwork, all it means is that there's nothing on paper - or nothing we can find at any rate. With Native American genealogy, there's the additional hitch that not everyone chose to ben "enrolled" or they couldn't afford it. One of the problems with the rolls, such as the Daws (sp?) rolls is that there were agents who were not exactly scrupulous or honorable. One of the things I found in dealing into genealogy is that there were agents who charged the Native Americans $10 per person to enroll. And they were pocketing the money for themeselves because they weren't supposed to be charging anything. (And people wonder why government employees aren't thought of in a positive light)
Ten dollars was a lot of money back in those days, especially if a family was living in poverty. If there were alot of people in the family, as can be the case where the family unit is an extended family, $10 per person can run into alot of money. If a family didn't have the money and the agent was insistant about charging, the family members didn't enroll. So, that's just one reason why full-blooded Native Americans didn't get on the list and why their descendants can't prove with "documentation" that they are "officially" Native American.
The documentation is skewed at best.
For me, there is a very profound lesson in this. For all of us, not just Native Americans, we cannot look to others to define us. We cannot look outside of ourselves for our identity. It took me a long time to learn that I carry myself within me. I'm going to be 56 this year and have just become solid in that knowledge of my identity.