WorkFirst HandBook

Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations

9.2 Tribal Members

Legal References:

The Tribal Members section includes:

9.2.1 Tribal Enrollment

Tribal governments are made up of individuals who are citizens of the United States, citizens of the State in which they reside, and also citizens or "members" of their own tribes. These individuals are usually described as being "enrolled" in a tribe. Eligibility for enrollment is based on the laws of each respective tribe.

Individual enrolled tribal members may be entitled to certain rights and benefits under tribal or federal law. These rights are based on treaties, executive orders, and federal legislation.

To make sure people can take advantage of all of their rights and benefits, we capture race and tribal affiliation information in ACES for every member of the family. We also use ACES to identify tribal members who are living on a reservation and which reservation they live on.

We use this information to support Tribal TANF programs and to administer the Indian County disregard (federal time limit exemptions for tribal members who live on reservations with high unemployment). For additional information about:

9.2.2 Tribal ACES Codes - Step-by-Step Guide

On the (DEM1) screen:

On the (ADDR) screen:

9.2.3 Equitable Access

WorkFirst is committed to provide tribal families with equitable access to all activities and benefits. We coordinate with tribal service representatives to facilitate access and ensure that services reflect tribal cultures whenever possible. Local and regional offices work with tribal counterparts in tribal governments and Indian organizations to coordinate services that assist American Indians move into employment as quickly as possible.

There are many state and federal laws that require equitable access:

9.2.4 Dual Child Care Eligibility

American Indians have dual eligibility for child care. They are eligible for Working Connections Child Care funds and may also be eligible for tribal child care services. Federal funding to tribes for child care assistance allows tribes to choose to provide services to families directly or to refer families to DSHS for these services.

For additional information about Working Connections Child Care (WCCC), please refer to WorkFirst Handbook Chapter 2.3 and to the Working Connections Child Care Manual.

9.2.5 Tribal Non-Relocation Policy

According to Department of Social & Health Services Administrative Policy 7.01 and in recognition of the 1989 Centennial Accord , federal treaties and executive orders, coupled with the recognition of sovereignty, the State recognizes that tribal communities have legal and political ties to their lands. Therefore, the longstanding policy of the WorkFirst partners is that no American Indian living on or near a reservation or tribal community will be required to relocate in order to meet work participation requirements.

Relocation is a sensitive cultural issue because of the past federal policy that forcibly removed American Indians from their ancestral lands. Under WorkFirst, if an American Indian is offered a job that requires relocation and this is unacceptable to the participant, we develop an Individual Responsibility Plan to find alternative activities that do not require relocation. Our goal is to provide all the advantages and opportunities of WorkFirst to tribal members who choose to live in Indian Country.


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