The Field Office in Detroit oversees the Port of Detroit, the Port of Port Huron, the Port of Salute Ste. Marie and Detroit Metropolitan Airport, along with several smaller outlying ports of entry. It will be assisting in providing a positive border experience for the tribal members planning to attend this year’s Gathering. The inner-agency departments (i.e. U.S. Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the trade department, etc.) have been informed about Gathering as well.
In addition to the proper documents required to prove citizenship and/or Native American status, any Native American entering with any part of an animal/bird of a protected species (i.e. bald eagle) will be required to complete a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Form 3-177. For example, if a tribal member with Native American status requests to enter with eagle feathers, eagle claws or an eagle head to be used for ceremonial purposes or as a gift, they must complete the USFWS Form 3-177. This includes regalia pieces made from or containing eagle feathers.
The form can be completed prior to entering the U.S. to prevent travel delays, but it is not a requirement to have it completed prior to their arrival. This form can look a little intimidating at first glance; however, it is not as difficult as it may seem to complete.
Here is a link for the instructions for form 3-177: cpn.news/3177instructions. Find a sample form with the required highlighted areas here: cpn.news/3177sample. A blank form can be found here: cpn.news/3177blank.
In the event any tribal member requires assistance with the form, Mr. Colburn from U.S. Fish and Wildlife may be contacted at (734) 247-6804 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A border crossing notice went out to each of the ports of entry (previously listed) to give them situational awareness. Other than the form, it doesn’t appear anything else would be required for the religious/cultural items listed on the border crossing notice provided.
Please remember anyone crossing always has the right to speak to a supervisor on duty. If there are any questions/concerns regarding crossing the border, they can be directed to:
Chief of Staff
Detroit Field Office
Find more information regarding Potawatomi Gathering 2019 at cpn.news/2019gathering.