Indian Affairs | OFA Guidelines

Guidelines and Precedent Manual

These documents include several documents designed to assist the petitioner and the petitioner's research staff in putting together a petition.

The guidelines discuss the preparation process in general terms, and petitioners should be aware that their own experience in preparing petitions will have its set of special requirements, considerations, and decisions.

The precedent manual is intended to help petitioners better understand how the Department as interpreted and applied the regulations to specific cases. 

The attached narrative, the “Petition for Federal Acknowledgment of the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan,” is an example of a narrative written by a member of a petitioning group, who volunteered for the project, along with the help of other group members.  The petitioner, through this narrative and additional supporting documents, demonstrated that it met the mandatory criteria for Federal acknowledgment.