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Is a Tribal Letter Now Insufficient for Travel to the United States?

What is a Tribal Letter?  I understand that Status Indians born in Canada with 50% quantum blood (of a Status Indian) are able to travel to the United States freely, which includes the right to live there.  Essentially, they have what appears to be the same rights as a United States Citizen. One of the ways of proving 50% or more quantum blood is with a Tribal Letter.  However, given new passport requirements when traveling to the United States, a Tribal Letter may now be insufficient.

What Does a Tribal Letter Look Like?

I received an email asking what the letter looked like, as their band rarely was in a position to issue such a letter as they are not near a U.S. border.  My first thought was that she should contact another band and ask to see a sample of their letter for presentation to her own band, which would assist them in preparing the appropriate letter. However, a US Customs and Border agent recently advised that there are a lot of fraudulent Tribal Letters circulating.  One that basis, bands might be reluctant to give out sample letters.   As a result, her only option may be to find another Status Indian who already possesses such a letter, take a copy, then present it to her band.  Regardless, as stated above, a Tribal Letter may now be insufficient.

Research on Tribal Letters

My research on Tribal Letter brought me to this website.  It gives very good insight into Tribal letters and requirements when traveling to the United States.

  • Native Americans Born In Canada  (LINK NO LONG AVAILABLE)

This link states you need the following documents to cross into the United States:

You used to be able to show your tribal enrollment card with a photograph attached and your Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Card (INAC or status card) for entry into the U.S.   But now Canadian Citizens must present a passport, Enhanced Driver’s License or “Secure” INAC Card.  The Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) office is currently accepting applications for updated Secure Certificate of Indian Status in certain regions”.

For more information, please go to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada website.

 

If you personally have experience dealing with cross-border issues involving Status Indians, please share them below.

Related Blog:

Certificate of Indian Status | Travel to the United States

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