How Do I Get My Chippewa Indian Card and Where Do I Get It?

by Cousette Copeland

In order to qualify for a Chippewa tribal card, you must submit an application to a branch of your Native American (Indian) tribe. You must submit forms and documents according to the specific tribe requirements.

Determine which tribe you are related to by reviewing the Tribal Leaders Directory on the Bureau of Indian Affairs website.

Search for Chippewa in the Search box. In the 2011 Directory, there are 125 results.

Determine which region your family came from. Results go from Canada, through the U.S., even the Confederate States, and down to Mexico.

Review the results and determine which apply to your tribe.

Select the state for which you have documentation.

Be prepared and have ready the names of your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on. You will need the maiden names of all your female ancestors.

Click on the state of your tribe.

Review the result, which displays the agency and contact information.

Do an alternative search by selecting the agency by state from the Tribal Directory Web page of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Click on the tribe that coincides with your family's tribe. You may recognize a state's tribe location or tribe name from the list.

Locate the tribe's information for Tribal Enrollment. Some websites use the word "Forms." Select the enrollment form. You will have to do some digging. If you cannot find a link, use the "Contact Us" selection and send the webmaster an email asking for the Tribal Enrollment form.

Read the instructions from the website for the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Click the Forms button at the top of the Web page.

Carefully read this Web page and make sure you click on each link for forms to print and complete -- Enrollment Cover Letter, Enrollment Application and Tribal Identification Card Affidavit.

Fill in the date on the Enrollment Cover Letter.

Understand that each tribe will have a different form. Be prepared to have the following documents ready. Submit these with the Cover Letter and the Application form. Your original birth certificate. If you don't have one, get a certified copy from the city in which you were born. A copy of your social security card If you were adopted, a copy of your Amended or Pre-Adoption Certificate A family tree showing as much information as possible about you, your parents, your grandparents and as far back as you can go Your phone number and mailing address

Call if you are unsure about anything required on the form. Note that the form may have a telephone number of someone who can help you fill out the form. The agency will not process incomplete forms.

Keep a copy of everything that you mail in.

Mail the Cover Letter and the Enrollment Application to the address on the Enrollment Application. Be aware that the Tribe Leaders meet once or twice a year, so you may have to wait for your application to be reviewed and considered.

Wait to see if your application is approved. Either way, you will be notified.

Submit your photograph with the Tribal Identification Card Affidavit form once you are notified of approval.

Apply for the rights and benefits accorded a Tribe Member, when you are approved and receive your Tribal Identification Card.

Apply for a Bureau of Indian Affairs Card after you receive you Chippewa Tribal Card. You will have access to the Tribal Roll numbers of yourself and each of your ancestors when you are accepted by the tribe. Download and complete the BIA application from the Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood Instructions on the Bureau of Indian Affairs website.

Items you will need

  • Your original birth certificate or adoption certificates
  • Copy of your social security card
  • Information about your family's Chippewa heritage
  • Computer with Internet access

Tips

  • Make sure you have all documents required by your tribe.
  • Complete the family history to the best of your knowledge.
  • Print copies of all forms required.
  • Complete all sections of all forms.
  • Submit originals or copies, as specified on the forms.
  • Keep a copy of everything that you mail in with your application.
  • If you are unsure of anything, contact the webmaster or contact person at the tribal website before you submit an application.
  • Be patient -- forms are only reviewed once or twice a year.

About the Author

Since earning an M.A. in English (writing) from San Jose State University in 1986, Cousette Copeland has produced high-tech documentation for many top Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley. Her articles have appeared in journals such as "Diabetes Forecast" and "Lapidary Journal," as well as newspapers and a Chicken Soup for the Soul publication. Copeland has three books on Amazon.com.

Photo Credits

  • Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images