Members of Native American tribes that are indigenous to the D.C. area would be able to have their tribal identity on their birth certificate if a new bill passes the D.C. Council.
The bill was introduced on Tuesday by D.C. Council member Charles Allen and Council member David Grosso, who also introduced a second bill that would grant free fishing licenses to Native Americans whose ancestors had lands around the waterways in the city.
Both bills came as part of Native American Heritage Month in an effort “to strengthen Native American identity and honor longstanding agreements with recognized tribes,” according to a statement by Allen.
“Where you can legally assert your heritage is important both to personal identity and to protecting and preserving our collective history,” said Allen. “These are simple bills that reinforce the District’s commitment to recognize and support Native American tribes whose history predates much of U.S. history.”
Individuals who are enrolled in a Native American tribe that is recognized by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, the District government, or a state government would benefit from the “Native American Birth Recognition Amendment Act of 2019.” They would be able to include a child’s tribal enrollment on their birth certificate or replace a birth certificate with one featuring their tribal enrollment.
And the second bill, the 1666 Articles of Peace and Amity Recognition Amendment Act of 2019, would allow members of the Piscataway Indian Nation and the Piscataway Conoy Tribe to receive a free fishing license.