The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is committed to providing a high level of service to its tribal members. In developing the Enhanced Tribal ID Card “ETC”, we have also worked diligently with US Customs and Border Protection to ensure safeguards in the ETC System and protecting user data. This continues to facilitate the historical passage and mobility of the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Members.
- Robert Valencia
Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Former Chairman
Sacred Path is a newly formed enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, providing the highest quality of specialized consulting services in developing for Tribal Nations a Turn Key Solution and customized ETC Program, meeting the federal mandate of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative known as WHTI. PYT/Sacred Path continues to build strong trustworthy business relationships, recognizing the cultural inherited values of all Tribal Nations for the betterment of our Native People. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe/Sacred Path is the first in the Nation to develop and implement a successful ETC Program, and has established partnerships at the federal level with Customs and Border Protection and FEMA under the Department of Homeland Security.
In 2013, through research and development the Pascua Yaqui Tribe/Sacred Path developed the first Outsourcing ETC Production System for the Hydaburg Cooperative Association in Alaska. We continued providing consulting services to several other tribes and felt an obligation to share our expertise and knowledge with Indian Country. As a result, we moved to brand our consulting services in 2017 and are now known as Sacred Path.
After September 11th, 2001, immediate improvements to our Nation’s borders were required. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) implemented a Congressional requirement that all U.S. citizens and other travelers entering the U.S. would present a passport or accepted WHTI compliant document (i.e. Enhanced Tribal Card (ETC)).The federal government recognizes Tribes as Sovereign Nations with the authority to develop their own ETC Programs.
On May 27th, 2009, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe/Sacred Path negotiated and entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Homeland Security and Customs Border Protection to implement an ETC Program. After two years of planning and extensive research and development in August of 2010, the program became available to its membership. Upon the program’s evaluation performed by the Department of Homeland Security and a third-party, on June 9th 2011, the Enhanced Tribal Card was approved and published in the federal register as a WHTI-compliant document for border crossing, denoting identity, U.S. citizenship, and tribal membership status.
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe/Sacred Path is the first in the Nation to develop an Enhanced Tribal Card Program. The program has been successful and our membership continues to take full advantage of the program.
In the last several years, PYT/Sacred Path has established the necessary government relations with the Department of Homeland Security and Customs Border Protection, with years of experience that has included Cultural Awareness Sensitivity and Crossing of Cultural Regalia training being provided to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection in order to cultivate better understanding and respect for the cultural and sacred items.
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