Tribes seek extension for border-crossing cards
Tribes in the Pacific Northwest face a June 1 deadline to develop their own identification cards for crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

But the Tulalip Tribes of Washington says it needs an extension. The Tulalips agreed to develop special security-enhanced ID cards for tribes in the area but the system won't be ready in time.

"We're racing the clock right now," Theresa Sheldon, a tribal analyst, told The Everett Herald. "The only way we would be able to make it by the deadline is if they gave us an extension."

The biggest issue is money. Tribes haven't received any federal funds to implement the identification program, although states received their share.

In the meantime, the tribes want to continue using their existing membership cards for border crossings. "It's important for us in regard to our cultural ways, our spiritual ways and our political alliances that have evolved over millenniums," said Jewell James of the Lummi Nation of Washington "We can't have that dictated by people who don't understand tribal culture."

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Tribes want more time to develop ID cards for use at the Canadian border (The Everett Herald 3/30)