In order to become a member of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, you must be able to prove pre-recognition ties to Aroostook County, Maine before November 26, 1991, and provide documentation to prove your Aroostook ancestry. Other requirements include:
- You must have the certification within the application notarized.
- Provide a Certified Birth Certificate, which will be returned to you after copies are made for your file.
- You must be a United States citizen.
Proof of ties to Aroostook County
Ties to Aroostook County means having a significant connection through you or an immediate family member to the Aroostook County community. An immediate family member is, as defined in the Membership Ordinance, a person’s child, parent, grandparent, or sibling. Ties can be proven by official documents such as, but not limited to, birth certificates or school records that show residency in Aroostook County prior to November 26, 1991.
Micmac ancestry is prove with a band card or a letter from a recognized Micmac Tribe in Canada through Indian Affairs in Ottawa.
The only band cards accepted are those approved by Indian Affairs in Ottawa, Canada. There are other organizations throughout Canada that issue their members cards, however, if you do not have a band card issued by Indian Affairs in Canada, it will not be accepted as proof. You can be a member of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs as well as a member of a Tribe in Canada.
You cannot be a member of more than one tribe located in the United States. While you may be eligible for membership with more than one U.S. Tribe, you must choose which Tribe you want to obtain membership with.
The Enrollment Application Process
Once an application is returned to the Aroostook Band of MicMacs office, it will be reviewed by the Membership Committee. If the file is found to be complete by the Committee it is then forwarded to the Tribal Council for approval at their next meeting. If the application is approved, the applicant will be notified by mail.
If an application is submitted without meeting all of the requirements, the applicant will be notified by mail and given 90 days to complete the file. If the file is not completed within the 90 day time frame, the file will be mailed back to the applicant and no further action will be taken until a properly completed application with the required documentation is received.
Suggestions on tracing your Aroostook Micmac roots
There are 28 Micmac Tribes throughout Canada. Start by locating birth certificates for yourself and all ancestors leading back to your Aroostook roots. Once you have established a chain linking you back to the person whom you consider to be Micmac, your trace should lead you to Canada. On the birth certificate it should state where your ancestor was born. Once you have a location, check with Micmac tribes in the surrounding area.
Tracing your roots can be extremely time consuming, especially if you don’t have immediate family members to help point the way. Another alternative is to hire a professional genealogist to do the work for you. If you go that route, be prepared for considerable expense.
If you are tracing your ancestry back before the early 1900’s, keep in mind the Aroostook Band of Micmacs does not have any members born before this time.
Books that may help with starting your Micmac Genealogy research
Finding Your Acadian Ancestors by Lea Normandeau-Jones (Toronto: Heritage Productions, 2001).
Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia , by Terrence Punch (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 1998).
“Mi’kmaq Genealogy”, by Gillian Allen. The Nova Scotia Genealogist (Vol XX, No. 3, Fall, 2002:167-174).
Records of the Department of Indian Affairs at Library and Archives Canada: A Source for Genealogical Research , by Bill Russell (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 2004). Researching Your Aboriginal Ancestry at Library and Archives Canada, by Richard Collins (Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada, 2008).
Benefits of enrolling in the Aroostook Band of Micmacs
Once you become an Aroostook Band of Micmacs tribal member, you would be entitled to:
- Voting Rights within the Tribe as outlined in the By-laws.
Health Care Services.
- Tuition Waiver for Higher Education in Maine.
- Housing as determined by eligibility and availability.
In order to receive direct service benefits most programs require that the members reside within Aroostook County. All services offered by the Aroostook Band of Micmacs are detailed within their web site.
There is a common misconception that being a member of an Indian Tribe allows an individual to receive a monetary disbursement. While some Tribes are capable of providing their members with this type of compensation, through economic development ventures, not all Tribe’s are able to provide this service. The Aroostook Band of Micmacs does not provide this service to its members at this time.
More information on the Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians of Maine