Quick Access

Why does my tribal card expire?
Tribal cards expire so the member has to contact us to update their information. It’s important to keep your information current with our office as all tribal mailings are based off our database. An expired tribal card does not have any effect on your membership with the tribe. It just means that you need to update your information with the Enrollment office.

When can I receive a lifetime membership card?
Tribal members age 55 and older receive lifetime membership cards.

When will I receive my elder check?
Once you turn 60, you will be eligible for the Elder Dividend. All you have to do is keep your address current with the Enrollment office and all the paperwork you will need to fill out each year will be automatically mailed to you.

Can I enroll my children?
Minor children (under the age of 18) of an enrolled member can be enrolled. It is free. The tribal parent simply fills out an application and submits it with the child’s courthouse birth certificate. The child’s card will be sent to the parent within 5-7 business days. Children of enrolled members age 18-20 can also enroll. Please call our office to inquire. Once a child of an enrolled member turns the age of 21 they are no longer eligible for enrollment during this roll closure.

Why are the membership rolls closed?
The membership rolls closed in 1998 and opened again briefly in 2005. The closure of the membership rolls is at the complete discretion of the Board of Directors. There are no current plans to open the membership rolls at this time.

How do I renew my membership card?
There are several ways to renew your card. The fee to renew is $5. You can call the office and pay over the phone with a debit or credit card. Or, you can mail a money order to our office with a written request for a renewal. You can also contact us via email. If you are in the area you can stop by the office and renew in person. It only takes a few minutes!

All my family is enrolled, why can’t I be enrolled, too?
There are few exceptions to the roll closure that allows for application regardless of how many family members are already enrolled. The exceptions are as follows: sealed adoption records, unknown paternity or maternity, or outside of the home placement (foster care). If you fall under one of those categories, please contact our office and we will explain the application process to you. If you do not fall under any of those categories you will have to wait until there is an open enrollment period.

How do I get my blood quantum certified?
We require a written request for one to receive their blood quantum certification. The form to request the certification is located on our website. You can also stop in and pick one up or we will mail or email the form to you upon request. There is a $15 processing fee for this request.

How do I get my picture on my tribal card?
The fastest and easiest way to have your picture put on your tribal ID is to come in to our office. We will take the picture there and it will be ready for you in minutes. If that is not an option for you we also accept emailed pictures or pictures sent to us in the mail (wallet size, please). We do require proof of identity so please supply us with either a clear copy of your driver’s license or state ID as well.

What are my benefits?
There are many benefits to being a member of a federally recognized tribe. For a list of the programs available to Sault Tribe members, please visit our website.

What is the cut off blood quantum limit to be enrolled with the Tribe?
There has never been a blood quantum limit to be a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. We are a direct lineal descendant Tribe, so blood degrees do not play a part in determining membership.

How do I receive my “Indian” name and my clan?
Your Native name and clan is given to you by a medicine man. The medicine man conducts a personal ceremony with you and through this process he finds your name and clan.

My grandmother was an Indian princess from the tribe’s reservation, so can I enroll?
As heart breaking as this may be to some people, there is no such thing as a real “Indian princess.” The term “Indian princess” came from days when there were parades that featured Native women. Often times, the daughters of the chiefs may have been deemed a “princess,” but technically, there really is no such person.

How do I figure out which tribe I am from?
If you do not know what tribe it is that you trace to, the place to start is with your relatives. Ask many questions to as many relatives as you can. If that is not an option for you, or you have already done this and still cannot pinpoint which tribe it is, start in the area in which your ancestors are from. Then look for a tribe that is closest to that particular area and contact them. You should try to gather as much information on your ancestors as you can, such as their dates of birth and maiden names (if applicable). You can also try contacting the Bureau of Indian Affairs office that covers that state or area. You can find this information online at www.bia.gov. This site also contains many helpful tips in tracing your Indian ancestry.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY