The Canadian government has asked U.S. officials to make an exception for seniors and Aboriginals on its imminent requirement for passports to cross the border.

Aboriginals recognized by Ottawa should not have to get a passport, say the feds, despite the fact that Canada does not recognize the 1794 Jay Treaty, which guaranteed certain Nations, like the Mohawks, free passage to and from the U.S.

Ottawa also suggested an alternative plan for emergency workers and medical evacuation cases.

The U.S. will require passports next summer from people entering the country by car or boat. They currently require passports only from people who travel to the States by air.

Canada wants the deadline extended and is currently trying to reach a deal that would see high-technology driver’s licenses accepted as well at land and sea border crossings.

In 2006, there were nearly 160 million cross-border visits and $710 billion US in two-way trade.