Further Inquiry Process
If initial inquiry produces reason to know that the child is or may be an Indian child, the party with inquiry duties (see table), while documenting each step:
- Interviews parents or guardians, Indian custodian, and extended family members (25 USC §1903(2)) to gather as much of the information specified in Welf & I C §224.2(a)(5) as possible for entry on Form ICWA-030, Notice of Child Custody Proceeding for Indian Child (Welf & I C §224.3(c)) (see form);
- Researches names and contact information for federally recognized tribes in which the child may be a member or eligible for membership, by consulting the Federal Register and CDSS directories (see Primary Resources on Tribes); and
- Contacts tribes and other persons reasonably expected to have information about the child’s tribal membership or eligibility.
Complicating the research task is the fact that the person with reason to know that a child is or could be an Indian may identify the possible tribal affiliation differently from the way in which the federal government would identify it. Historically, many of the names by which the federal government has recognized tribes have had no obvious relationship to historical tribal identifications in California. The CDSS directory can be useful in such a situation because it contains many cross-references between tribal groups’ names.