Office of Tribal Citizenship

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The Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians is committed to the guardianship of its people and passes its legislation to registered individuals of Fernandeño Tataviam ancestry. The Office of Tribal Citizenship (OTC) is designated to receive and process applications for Fernandeño Tataviam citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the Fernandeño Tataviam Constitution and Laws.

Registration for Tribal Citizenship is the governmental process of registering individuals who descend from a progenitor of the Fernandeño Tataviam by the Office of Tribal Citizenship. The legislative body, Tribal Senate grants the permanent and official record of Fernandeño Tataviam citizenship of individuals.

Fernandeño Tataviam Citizenship is an individual’s existence of being a Fernandeño Tataviam citizen and is fundamental to the realization of individual’s rights and practical needs with the Tribe to maintain tribal relations. Securing the tribal citizen’s right to the Tribe helps ensure access to basic services, including health care, school enrichment programs, and some other tribal programs at the right age.

Registration for Tribal Citizenship

Registration for Tribal Citizenship
The purpose of Fernandeño Tataviam citizenship secures an individual’s rights and practical needs, plus grants some access to basic services:

  • To be eligible Tribal TANF (depending on the area of residence).
  • To receive health care at Indian Health Services (depending on the area of residence).
  • To be eligible for education or scholarship from organizations.
  • To acquire Fernandeño Tataviam Tribal Citizenship Card for identification purpose.
  • To receive available services through the Fernandeño Tataviam tribal departments and programs, i.e. burial

Requirements of Eligibility

To obtain citizenship with the FTBMI, all persons must complete a General application for registration. The applicant must be able to provide documentation showing lineal descendancy from an identified FTBMI progenitor.

What is lineal descendancy?

It means the link from child to parent, parent to grandparent, grandparent to great grandparent, etc. An applicant must show that link throughout their lineal ancestry to an identified FTBMI progenitor.

Who is an FTBMI progenitor?

If you have a parent or grandparent who is currently enrolled with the FTBMI, they are your progenitor. If you do not have anyone enrolled with the FTBMI then you must prove lineage to a pre-1900 member of the historical Fernandeño Indian Tribe.

What’s required for the enrollment application?

  • Original Birth Certificate or certified copy of the original birth certificate as issued by the county (Abstracts and photocopies will not work)
  • Original Social Security Card
  • Marriage License (If an applicant has had a name change due to a marriage, then a marriage license is required to track the lineage)
  • All lineage documentation, other than the applicant’s information, can be photocopies of original documents.
  • Evidence to satisfy parts 5 & 6 of the application.

How does the application work?

  • Parts 1-3 of the application:

    • Parts 1 through 3 are about identifying information of the applicant and immediate familial relationships. Mother’s, father’s, and siblings information are what’s involved with parts 1 through 3.
    • Original Birth Certificate or certified copy of the original birth certificate as issued by the county (Abstracts and photocopies will not work)
    • Original Social Security Card
    • Marriage License (If an applicant has had a name change due to a marriage, then a marriage license is required to track the lineage)
    • All lineage documentation, other than the applicant’s information, can be photocopies of original documents.
  • Part 4 of the application is applicant’s family tree chart.
    • The person applying must complete the family tree chart showing their lineal descent on the tree until they identify their progenitor on the chart. You can print multiple family tree pages if you need to go back farther in your familial line.
  • Part 5 of the application requires how your progenitor has maintained tribal relations with the Fernandeño community pre-1968.
    • If you have a parent who is already enrolled in the FTBMI, then this page does not apply to you. If you don’t have a progenitor enrolled in the FTBMI, then the applicant must provide some documentation showing their progenitor’s tribal involvement pre-1968. This can be photos of a progenitor with other FTBMI progenitors prior to 1968, or provide some kind of documentation showing progenitor involvement with the community. All photos and documentation are reviewed by OTC staff to determine if submitted evidence is sufficient to satisfy part 5.
  • Part 6 of the application requires that the applicant show how they themselves have maintained tribal relations with the Fernandeño community.
    • In this section the applicant must provide some form of evidence that shows how they applicant themselves has maintained connection with the FTBMI community. Photos or documentation are required to prove involvement with the community. And will be review by OTC to determine if submitted evidence is sufficient.
  • Part 7 of the application is a letter of relinquishment.
    • This letter is required for those applicants who have been enrolled in another tribe, or currently enrolled in another tribe and wish to enroll with the FTBMI. This form the applicant signs states that they are revoking their enrollment in any other tribe that they currently enrolled or have been enrolled with. The FTBMI does not allow for dual-citizenship, if found that an applicant has been conferred citizenship but was misrepresenting their status to stay enrolled with another tribe…they may be subject to disenrollment with the FTBMI.

Along with the completing all parts of the application, there is:

  • $60 processing fee for General registration applications for adults.
  • All fees are can be paid with cash/card/money order.
  • All applications require a prescheduled 15-minute review of the application prior to OTC accepting the file for the enrollment process.
    • If you are mailing the application, you will still need to make an appointment to review the file before submission before mailing the application. Zoom calls can be setup to go over the application.

The OTC will not provide any applicant with documentation from any currently enrolled citizen for any reason. All evidence and documentation must be supplied by the applicant.

Frequently asked questions

  • No one in my direct lineage has been officially enrolled in the tribe, Can I use my cousin/aunt/non-FTBMI parent to enroll?
    • No. Enrollment can only go through child to parent and so on. You cannot use a cousin, or lateral relation, to qualify for enrollment. You must trace your lineage through the Fernandeño line of your family.
  • Can I get my application fee waived?
    • At this time there is no mechanism for the fee for applications to be waived.
  • I don’t have any evidence for part 6 of the application, what can I do?
    • The tribe hosts events throughout the year, along with attending external events, it would be beneficial to attend those events to acquire the required criterion to satisfy part 6. Please check the FTBMI Social media for flyers regarding future events.
  • I don’t have any documentation for my family, where can I go?
    • Please check with your local records agency that manages vital records.
  • I’ve submitted my application and the OTC took it for processing, what now?
    • The process time for each application can take anywhere from 1-12 months, depending on the internal process at the time. However, should you be conferred citizenship, then you will receive a mailed envelope with the following:
      • Copy of the FTBMI Consititution
      • Welcome Letter
      • Vital record page stating your vital tribal information.
      • Voter registration form.
    • Should you move after you have submitted your completed application to the OTC, you should contact the OTC with the change of address.
  • If I get conferred citizenship through the FTBMI application process, will I have to apply again at some point?
    • No. Once your are an enrolled citizen of the FTBMI there is no secondary enrollment process. Also, when a citizen passes on, they will always be considered a citizen. And that deceased persons enrollment number does not get reused. Every citizen’s FTBMI enrollment number will always unique to that individual.

Identification Card

Complete the form to schedule an identification card appointment.