Status Indian



The Indian Register is the official record of people registered under the ''
Indian Act The ''Indian Act'' (, long name ''An Act to amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians'') is a Canadian act of Parliament that concerns registered Indians, their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. First passed in 1876 and stil ...
'' in Canada, called status Indians or ''registered Indians''. People registered under the ''Indian Act'' have rights and benefits that are not granted to other First Nations people,
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic and subarctic regions of Greenland, Labrador, Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, a ...
, or
Métis The Métis ( ; Canadian ) are Indigenous peoples who inhabit Canada's three Prairie Provinces, as well as parts of British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and the Northern United States. They have a shared history and culture which derives ...
, the chief benefits of which include the granting of reserves and of rights associated with them, an extended
hunting season A hunting season is the designated time in which certain game animals can be killed in certain designated areas. In the United States, each state determines and sets its own specific dates to hunt the certain game animal, such as California, in ...
, easier access to firearms, an exemption from federal and provincial taxes on reserve, and more freedom in the management of gaming and tobacco franchises via less government interference and taxes.


In 1851 the colonial governments of
British North America British North America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in North America from 1783 onwards. English colonisation of North America began in the 16th century in Newfoundland, then further south at Roanoke and Jamestown, ...
began to keep records of Indians and bands entitled to benefits under
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually made by and between sovereign states, but can include international organizations, individuals, business entities, and other legal per ...
. For 100 years, individual Indian agents made lists of members who belonged to each band. In 1951, the current Indian Register was established by amendment of the ''
Indian Act The ''Indian Act'' (, long name ''An Act to amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians'') is a Canadian act of Parliament that concerns registered Indians, their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. First passed in 1876 and stil ...
'', and the many band lists were combined into one. In 1985, the ''Indian Act'' was amended again with the goal of restoring First Nations status to people who had lost it through discriminatory provisions of the act, and to their children. Over 100,000 people who had lost their status in this way were added to the register.

Registration under the Indian Act ("Indian status")

The list is maintained by Indigenous Services Canada. Sole authority for determining who will be registered is held by the Indian Registrar.

Revocation of status

The discriminatory reasons for revoking status were: * marrying a man who was not registered under the ''Indian Act'' *
enfranchisement Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections and referendums (although the term is sometimes used for any right to vote). In some languages, and occasionally in English, the right to v ...
(until 1960, an Indian could vote in federal elections only by renouncing their status as a person who was registered under the Indian Act, i.e. their "Indian status") * having a mother and paternal grandmother who were not registered under the ''Indian Act'' (these people lost status at 21) * being born out of wedlock of a mother who was registered under the ''Indian Act'' and a father who was not.

Documentary proof of Indian status

Since 1956 the Canadian federal government has issued an identity document to individuals who are registered under the ''Indian Act''. Traditionally these documents have been used by First Nations people in Canada to cross the border between Canada and the United States under the
Jay Treaty The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, was a 1794 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that averted ...
. The document is called a certificate of Indian status or secure certificate of Indian status. It is often called a "status card".

Non-status Indians

See also

* Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples * Congress of Aboriginal Peoples * The Canadian Crown and First Nations, Inuit and Métis * * Aboriginal land title in Canada ;Compare with * Blood quantum laws - the method of determining eligibility for treaty benefits in the United States


External links

Indigenous Services Canada
{{Canadian Identity Documents First Nations Canadian Aboriginal and indigenous law Government documents 1850 establishments in Canada