Tribes tell members to use tribal ID at U.S. border crossings with Canada

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People crossing the U.S.-­Canada border are now required to show a passport or enhanced driver’s license, but American Indian leaders are encouraging tribal members to continue using their tribe-issued identification cards instead.

The National Congress of American Indians, which opposes the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative’s passport requirement, fought hard for the right of tribes to cross the border using cards issued by tribal governments. Federal officials agreed to accept tribal ID, as long as tribes developed enhanced cards with top-notch security features.

So far, just one tribe, the Kootenai in Idaho, has signed an agreement with federal officials to develop its own enhanced ID system. That tribe is still creating its system. Leaders of other tribes say they don’t have the money to develop their own systems.


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