Got Status? Indian Status in Canada, sort of explained.

It has been my experience that many Canadians do not understand the difference between Status and membership, or why so many different terms are used to refer to native peoples.  The confusion is understandable; this is a complex issue and the terms used in any given context can vary greatly. Many people agree that the term ‘Indian’ is a somewhat outdated and inappropriate descriptor and have adopted the presently more common ‘First Nations’.  It can seem strange then when the term ‘Indian’ continues to be used, in particular by the government, or in media publications.  The fact that ‘Indian’ is a legislative term is not often explained.

As a Métis, I find myself often answering questions about whether or not I have Status, which invariably turns into an explanation about what Status means in the Canadian context. The nice thing is, as time passes, fewer people ask me this because it does seem that the information is slowly getting out there into the Canadian consciousness.

To help that process along, I figured I’d give you the quick and dirty explanation of the different categories out there.  Well…quick is subjective, I am after all notoriously long-winded.

Terms discussed:

  • native
  • indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Status Indian
  • non-Status Indian
  • Métis
  • Inuit
  • First Nations
  • Bill C-31 Indians
  • Bill C-3 Indians
  • Band membership
  • Treaty Indians

Context first

Obviously I want to focus specifically on the Canadian context.  Since I’m trying to clarify the terms used, for this post I’m going to avoid using them interchangeably even though I tend to do this elsewhere.

When speaking generally, I will use the term native because it tends not to have any legal meaning and it’s just a term I’m used to using. When referring to specific legal definitions, I will use the legislated terms.

This discussion focuses mainly on Status, and does not delve into definitions of Inuit or Métis, nor is there much explanation about what being non-Status means.  Those are also huge issues that require separate posts.

Status versus Membership

Status is a legal definition, used to refer to native peoples who are under federal jurisdiction. Federal jurisdiction over, “Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians” was set up in our first Constitution, the Constitution Act, 1867, in section 91(24).   This division of powers is not a little detail, so I’d like you to keep it mind always in these discussions.

The particular piece of federal legislation that defines Status is the Indian Act, which was created in 1876 and has been updated many times since then. Status then can be held only by those native peoples who fit the definition laid out in the Indian Act.

Membership is a much more complex issue. It can refer to a set of rules (traditional or not) created by a native community, that define who is a member of that community. It can also refer to those who are considered members of certain regional or national native organisations. It can be used in a much less formal and subjective sense, such as being part of an urban or rural native group.

Obviously these definitions will overlap at times. The most important thing to note is that having membership is not the same as having status.  For example, I am a member of the Alberta Métis Nation.  I am not a Status Indian.

Who is Aboriginal?

The term Aboriginal came into legal existence in 1982 when it was defined in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.  Section 35(2) defines Aboriginals as including “the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada”. It is a general, catch all term that has gained legal status in Canada, and therefore is particular to the Canadian context.

The term ‘indigenous’ is another such catch all descriptor, but does not have the same national legal connotations. It is widely used internationally, however.  I am linking now to the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to give you a sense of how it is used.

The Constitution Act, 1982 does not define ‘Indian’, ‘Inuit’ or ‘Métis’.  The definitions have been fleshed out in legislation, in court decisions, and in policy manuals and have changed significantly over the years.  Thus you will see these terms used in different ways depending on how old your sources is, or what period of time is being discussed and so on.  Confused?  Oh don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Being Aboriginal does not mean one has legal Status; Status is held only by Indians as defined in the Indian Act.

Status

Status Indians are persons who, under the Indian Act are registered or are entitled to be registered as Indians. All registered Indians have their names on the Indian roll, which is administered by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). (I still call this Ministry INAC (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) or DIAND (Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) which are both names I grew up hearing.)

Status Indians are able to access certain programs and services which are not available to other Aboriginal peoples.

Does this seem like a vague definition?  It isn’t.  It is incredibly detailed and confusing.  The definitions have changed many times over the years.  If you want to read more on this issue, this page gives a great overview of pre and post 1867 definitions as well as explaining some of the more shocking aspects of the Indian Act over time.

Bill C-31 and Status

There were various federal policies over the years that caused Status Indians to be removed from the Indian roll. Some lost Status when they earned a university degree, joined the Army or the priesthood, gained fee simple title of land, or married a non-Indian (this last one applied only to women).  One minute you were legally an Indian, and the next…you weren’t.

Bill C-31 was passed in 1985 as an amendment to the Indian Act, and was intended to reinstate Status for those who had lost it. In particular the Bill was supposed to reverse sexual discrimination that had cause Indian women who married non-Indians to lose their Status while men who married non-Indian woman not only kept their Status, but also passed Status on to their non-Indian wives.

Bill C-31 added new categories to the Indian Act, defining who is a Status Indian, and who will be a Status Indian in the future. The legislation does not specifically refer to any sort of blood quantum, therefore there is no official policy that would take into account half or quarter Indian ancestry. Nonetheless, ancestry continues to be a determining factor in who is a Status Indian.

Section 6 of the Indian Act identifies two categories of Status Indians, called 6(1) and 6(2) Indians. Both categories provide full Status; there is no such thing as half Status. The categories determine whether the children of a Status Indian will have Status or not.

This might be a good time to get a coffee, because this next bit is always confusing for people.

A 6(1) Indian who marries a 6(1) or a 6(2) Indian will have 6(1) children.  Everyone in this ‘equation’ is a full Status Indian themselves.

If two 6(2) Indians marry, they will have children with 6(1) Status.

A 6(1) Indian who marries anyone without Status (whether that person is Aboriginal or not) will have children who have 6(2) Status. A 6(2) Indian who marries anyone without Status (whether that person is Aboriginal or not) will have children with no legal Indian Status.

Look at this chart again.  Two generations of ‘out-marriage’.  That is all it takes to completely lose Status. It does not matter if you raise your grandchildren in your native culture.  It does not matter if they speak your language and know your customs.  If you married someone without Status, and your grandchildren have a non-Status parent, your grandchildren are not considered Indian any longer.  Not legally.

To be honest, it is amazing there are any Status Indians left in this country.

Bill C-31, way to not fix sexism!

One of the most criticised aspects of Bill C-31 was that it did not actually reverse the sexism inherent in denying women Status if they married a non-Status man.

Women who had their Indian Status reinstated under Bill C-31 had 6(1) Status, but their children had 6(2) Status.  That makes sense according to the charts above, right?

The problem is that men who married non-Indian women actually passed on Indian Status to their previously non-Status wives.  Thus the children of those unions have 6(1) status.

Sharon McIvor, and Bill C-3: Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act

Sharon McIvor launched an epic court battle to address the problems with Bill C-31 and the Indian Act.  In response a Bill was introduced to Parliament for First Reading in March of 2010. The full title of this Bill is:

An Act to promote gender equity in Indian registration by responding to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia decision in McIvor v. Canada (Registrar of Indian and Northern Affairs)

Bill C-3 was given Royal Assent on December 15, 2010 and came into force (became law) on January 31, 2011.  A great many grandchildren of women who regained Status under Bill C-31 (but who passed on only 6(2) Status to their children) can now regain their 6(2) Status if they choose to.

In an unsurprising twist, this means my mother and her siblings are eligible for 6(2) Status.  Many people are being faced with the same situation, and it is not an easy choice to make.  Identity politics are incredibly convoluted and mined with danger.  For others who have ‘lived’ Indian their whole lives, Status be damned, it can be an important change…but ultimately one that reinforces the so-called legitimacy of a colonial power deciding who is Indian and who is not.

By the way, ‘Bill C-3 Indians’ isn’t very catchy…I wonder if we’re going to start calling them ‘McIvor Indians’? (Say it out loud :D )

Band Membership

There are a number of sub-categories that apply to Status Indians. One category is Band membership.

A Band is defined as a group of Indians for whom land has been set aside (a Reserve), or who have been declared a Band by the Governor General (no Reserve).  A Band might have a number of reserves, but can also have no land reserved at all.  Think of a Band as the people themselves.

Before Bill C-31, having Indian Status automatically gave you Band membership.  Bill C-31 gave Bands the ability to stay under the Indian Act Band membership rules (automatic membership with Status) or make their own rules regarding membership.

Thus you can have Status Indians who have no Band membership, just as you can have non-Status Indians who do have Band membership.  Being a Status Indian is no longer a guarantee that you will be a member of a Band.

Bill C-3 Indians face the same problems as Bill C-31 Indians did.  Having Status does not necessarily mean they will be able to live on reserve or get Band Membership.  The pros and cons of this are hotly debated, so I’m going to back away slowly and not touch that, except to point out that there were and are no plans to make federal funding responsive to the influx of those with newly acquired Status under either Bill.

Reserves

Related to Band membership, another sub-category is between reserve and non-reserve Indians. This does not refer to whether one actually lives on the reserve or not, but rather describes whether an  Indian is affiliated with a reserve.  These are people who have access to a reserve and the right to live there if they choose.

Even though no historical Treaties were signed in British Columbia, there are many reserves, while in the Northwest Territories which is covered by a numbered Treaty, there are no reserves.  I also pointed out above that you can have membership in a Band that doesn’t have a reserve at all.

As in other situations, being a Status Indian does not guarantee you access to a reserve, and there are non-Status people who live on reserve as well.

Treaty Indians

Another sub-category you should know about has to do with whether or not someone is a Treaty Indian.

Treaties in this context refer to formal agreements between legal Indians or their ancestors and the Federal government, usually involving land surrenders. The so called ‘numbered Treaties’ were signed between 1875 and 1921 and cover most of western and northern Canada. British Columbia, with the exception of Vancouver Island is not covered by any historical Treaty.

Other Treaties were signed in eastern Canada, but there are vast areas in the east that are still not covered by any Treaty. A number of modern (since 1976) Treaties have been signed in BC, and in other areas of the country, and negotiations are still underway to create more Treaties. Some Treaties provided for reserves and others did not.

There are many non-Status Indians, particularly in eastern Canada, who consider themselves Treaty Indians.  In the Prairies, “Treaty Indian” is often used interchangeably with “Status Indian” although one is not always the same as the other.

Confused yet?

To sum up, Status is held only by Indians who are defined as such under the Indian Act. Inuit and Métis do not have Status, nor do non-Status Indians. There are many categories of Status Indians, but these are legal terms only, and tell us what specific rights a native person has under the legislation.

If a native person is not a Status Indian, this does not mean that he or she is not legally Aboriginal. More importantly, not having Status does not mean someone is not native. Native peoples will continue to exist and flourish whether or not we are recognised legally and you can bet on the fact that terms and definitions will continue to evolve.

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171 Responses to Got Status? Indian Status in Canada, sort of explained.


  1. Arlene says:

    You are not long-winded; you are a teacher—a great one and I thank you for your efforts.

    • Mike says:

      One of my adopted sons (he is an adult now born in 1983) has aboriginal ancestry on his birth father’s side. I am trying to help him get more information. The problem is that we know very little about his birth father other than the fact that he had aboriginal background. I would be very grateful for some suggestions as to who to contact etc. Thanks.

      • cheryl stuart says:

        my son is also adopted and turns 18 this year…his mom had treaty status and therefore he was able to get it….so confused tho as to Band Membership altho the particular band is planning on changing their membership to allow anyone whose mother or father was a member to become a member…..thank you for the above information…about how the process workers…still confused but I can at least make some senseof itnow

        • My son was also adopted (when he was only 7) but his adopted mother works for Service Ontario & changed his birth records. When he came back home, INAC would not allow me to put him back on the list under me, even though I am a full status first nations band member because I can no longer get access to his birth certificate.

          • cheryls48 says:

            since I last posted my son has turned 18 and we have been thru hassle after hassle to gain his full status card; as adopted children get what they call a blind number…His Band has accepted him but until he gets the actual status number with Band # in front of it he does not qualify for distribution $$ or Band designation. Band has now been very accepting but INAC is ridiculous to work with. I have determined that adopted children certainly have a different road to travel and plan to pursue it furhter through a number of means. I will keep you posted. If you son was given a blind status number like my son it may be possible to get his full status..its just complicated

          • Bradley says:

            You should be able to get adoption records as the law have changed on that about 10years ago and all records are opened. CAS might be a good place to start or your member of parliment.

          • SM Pictou says:

            In order to get his original birth certificate, you would have to apply to the courts (supreme if I remember right) and provide adequate reason for the request to have access to it.

      • Glenn Coombs says:

        Tell him not to worry about finding out if he is status or not and get on with his life as a equal tax paying citizen like we all should be no handouts that doesnt work in any country in the world

        • Generally people who define themselves as ‘tax paying citizen’ are about to say something incredibly ignorant and steeped in prejudice. So glad you didn’t break the mold on that one!

          • W. T. Vaughan says:

            When you say that Glen Coombs “did not break the mold” do I understand you correctly that you believe what he said about handouts (as opposed to the rather cliched hand-ups) is incredibly ignorant and steeped in prejudice? If so, then I would heartily disagree with you.
            I believe that evidence is very strong in countries like Britain that on-going welfare payments to the non-working classes is a death knell for them ever getting out of their poverty cycles, and is probably the root cause of their continued poverty both financially and in spirit.

            I hope I am wrong in my understanding of what you meant.

          • The assumption that Status is linked to being on welfare is the ignorant and prejudiced attitude I am referring to. It is a pernicious and racist stereotype that Indigenous peoples are all about ‘handouts’ and in the repetition of this, Glen Coombs perpetuates a well-loved Canadian trope.

            Glen offers a false dichotomy: be “Indian” or be someone who contributes to society. The assumption here is that obviously, one cannot do both.

        • Kim Weaver says:

          It took me 62 years ti find out my French/Black Irish grandmother was really Mohawk. I just thought grandma was short and dark and made really tough roast beef.

          Since finding out my heritage I have embraced my Kanyen’keha:ka culture. I understand the horrific struggles my people went through. I am also proud, very proud of my culture and language. I am ashamed and working through the issues of being born and raised white and the privilege that went with that status, I have found there is very little to be proud of in my years as a tax paying citizen of Canada. Greed, social status, the yachts, the fast cars, bettering the neighbours, an making the poor and disadvantaged invisible are not very honourable traits.

          The outright theft of Indigenous land and the deplorable lack of honouring of the Treaties, the IRS, the 60’s scoop and the Indigenous Termination Plan of today are not honourable as well. I will walk my path as Haudenosaunee with pride and remember the lessons of being a tax paying Canadian.

        • Dee. Branham says:

          If you are not a native Canadian please go back to your country of origin, or your parent’s origin. My ancestors paid dearly and taxes saved are a mere pittance.

  2. Debra Huron says:

    Your post explains a lot of things that many Canadians cannot be blamed for being unclear about.

    One thing it doesn’t touch on is the question of how the term Metis is defined in this country. I call myself Metis because I have francophone and Ojibwe ancestors on my father’s side. His grandmother was Ojibwe (status). But I grew up in Ontario where there is no “historic” Metis population. I’d be interested to know your opinion of this writer’s views:
    http://bit.ly/u2UXuz

    He seems to be saying that people (like me) who self-identify as Metis but have no link to the historic Red River Metis of Manitoba are actually misusing the term. We’re not part of his definition of what it means to be Metis.

    My dilemma is, what do I call myself if I don’t use the term Metis? I ask this more in a rhetorical sense than in the sense of needing a definitive answer. I’m comfortable in my skin and with my ancestry, and will call myself what I damn well please! :-) However, it’s not easy being of “mixed blood” in this country, and millions of us find ourselves in this situation.
    best wishes to you, Debra

    • I very specifically did not address the various definitions of Métis because as I explained, it’s going to require a long post all of its own!

      I will say that Métis used to mean ‘mixed blood’ but has certainly become something beyond that. When people here in Quebec hear that I am Métis, they ask me which of my parents is “an Indian”. That isn’t how I define myself as Métis, but neither do I believe in Red River ‘purity’, as my community has a different history. One linked to the Red River Settlement, yes…but not defined by.

      In any case, this is certainly something I will come back to:)

      • Will 0'hare says:

        Hello Debra,
        I too am métis, and I too have no ancestral connection to the Red River métis. However, in my research on the subject I have discovered that I am indeed métis. The types of Metis are Anglo-Metis (non francophone European heritage) and Franco-Metis (francophone heritage). I am an anglo Metis, and legally as well as culturally, I am considered and proud to be métis. People who claim only red river métis should be included in the definition are sadly elitist in the broad, proud, and diverse culture of Metis people throughout the country, whether you have red river, French, anglophone, or any other ancestry, and whether you are from Ontario, Saskatchewan, bc, Nunavut, or any where else, if you observe the culture and are proud of it in your life, then you can proudly and truly call yourself métis!
        Sincerely,
        Liam C

    • tracy's two cents says:

      Hi Debra, I notice your post was from a coupla years ago, but I was compelled to respond. Like yourself (if I understood correctly), I am 1/8 aboriginal . While I was very interested to learn about my aboriginal ancestry, I have lived in the world as a white woman. I have no real connection to my great grandmother’s cultural heritage, therefore, I do not identify as aboriginal or metis, as cultural association is generally thought to be a central factor in identification as such. While it’s important to know one’s roots, I think it’s equally important to respect the cultural-historical significance of being aboriginal in this country, and the potentially oppressive/colonizing effect of appropriating the designation when one has had every benefit of membership in the dominant (white) culture. I’m really not trying to be contrary! I don’t presume that this necessarily applies to your situation…I just wanted to articulate an awareness I have gained on my own journey :)

      • travispinn says:

        Very well said, Tracy. As far as “cultural association”, however, doesn’t one’s culture evolve over time? Can those of us with clear indigenous ancestry, but little cultural heritage, “know these roots” without connecting with our living Indigenous cousins and visiting and learning about our great-grandmothers’ homeland? Perhaps even serving in Nation-building processes? Doesn’t a disconnection to one’s indigenous family past merely left to a family tree just feed colonial processes and narratives? By the way, I’m not suggesting that this is the case with you at all, but would be curious about your thoughts on the manner.

        I agree that “cultural-historical significance of being aboriginal in this country” must be respected and there is a real threat of ill-effect when someone appropriates the designation “when one has had every benefit of membership in the dominant (white) culture.” For some, this danger often alludes them or just gets swallowed up in a crusade to escape being white.

        Yet, I have found the little cultural heritage I was raised with to be the tip of a story iceberg. Almost every week, I learn more of the complexity of my large family’s journey to become or not become white and how elements of our particular indigeneity persist.

        I think those mixed-bloods who may be able to pass as white and maybe shouldn’t identify as Indigenous because of current and past dominant-culture upbringing, still have a responsibility to their respective Indigenous ancestors and living Indigenous relatives. The story is never as simple as the narrative suggests; Indians don’t just become white from of a couple generations of marrying out and living away from the homeland because the stories and culture get passed on, they are stronger than that.

  3. Emo says:

    Re: “In the Prairies, “Treaty Indian” is often used interchangeably with “Status Indian” although one is not always the same as the other.”

    Part of what makes the treaty system seem so surreal is that we do have bands here that refused to sign the treaties… but the government proceeds to treat them as if they had signed the treaties anyway, and it seems to make very little palpable difference. Reportedly, one of the few recognitions that Standing Buffalo F.N. never signed the treaty is that they don’t get the $5 per year that the surrounding reservations receive… but in almost every other conceivable way the government treats them as if the treaty had been signed (and, certainly, there’s no schedule for new treaty negotiations…). If you were going to ask yourself the hypothetical question “what if…?” a given band had refused to sign, or had held out for further negotiations… well, there are (very peculiar) actual examples of what happened for those who did not sign. It’s one of many historical ironies that seems almost devised to demonstrate how little difference the treaties have made for the people they were supposed to protect.

    At one point I tried to make a complete list of such “unsurrendered territories” within Cree-speaking Canada… but I think I got sidetracked with memorizing actual Cree vocabulary, and the other things that take up my time.

  4. Mark says:

    In Treaty 3 there is no Metis. There is a term called half breed. One would understand that if one was half Ojibway and half British, their child would neither be British or Ojibway but a half breed. But it makes no logical sense id someone’s grandparents were 3 British and one Ojibway to say the peson was Ojibway. The majority of their DNA Is non-
    Ojibway and likely their culture is predominantly British, thus they should be called British.
    Metis by definition are from the Red River Valley. Anyone east of Manitoba or West of Saskatchewan with native blood are half breeds or
    more accurateley, non natives with a little bit of native blood in them, like me.

    If non natives owe, and natives are owed, then we need to look at the geat grandparents and determine if the majority are owers or owed.
    if split, then they are half breeds and can hunt and fish for free.

    • I disagree so strongly with your arbitrary geographic boundaries, that I guess I’m going to have to get to that post sooner than I thought :D

      • Jessie says:

        I also disagree. How would the Ojibwe be British when the Ojibwe were here on this land first? Also Metis as per my teachings, were those with french canadian AND aboriginal blood…. just my thoughts…

        • Will 0'hare says:

          I also disagree strongly. Metis is by definition anyone who self identifies as Metis, is accepted by a métis community, and who has ancestry of mixed native and European blood. I have a mix of Scottish and Iroquois blood, which makes me Anglo Metis, but no less a part of the culture than a person who is directly descended from Louis Riel. Strict geographic boundaries of who is métis are ridiculous and elitist, taking away so much of the diversity that makes the métis culture so wonderful. You can be from any province, have ancestors from anywhere, but as long as you are mixed native and European, and as long as you accept and promote the culture within yourself and among others, then you are métis, regardless of geography or type of ancestry, and take pride in that!
          Liam C

    • trevor says:

      Your comment disgusts me in so many ways. First off the the way you reffered to natives as “owed”, the way you presume that metis have earned their inherent right to hunt, the way you slap a blood quantum on metis identity/culture/heritage aswell as how you unknowningly proclaim that no distinct historical metis communities exist outside the boundaries of saskatchewan and manitoba. Please do write an article on this apihtakosisan

      Ps my roots are mainly fron the RR and saskatchewn but also from ontario and a metis-mohawk fur trade community in sw quebec. With so much diverse metis culture i can testify to the existence of metis people in qc and ontario who have the same or similar culture/language/genealogy… also sorry for misspellings and typos due to the fact im o my cellular!

      -Proud metis

    • Kim Weaver says:

      I take extreme exception to your comments. Your discussion on blood quantum is a white colonial game used to decide who is and who is not “Indian”. I know many Metis in Treaty 3 territory. I also dislike immensely the term “Native”. It is pejorative term used by colonists too lazy to learn who they are talking to.

      The business of owe and owed is again pejorative. I am self-declared Onkwehon:we and it has been accepted and confirmed by the Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte and I have acceptance as Kanienkeha:ka from other Kanienkeha communities and Elders. That counts. I happen to have “Status” and it once had meaning as a validation as I discovered my “lost” culture but I have nothing but contempt for the Canada’s game of percentage extermination.

  5. Mark says:

    My best friend gowing up was an Afrikaner. When his dad retired he mentioned he had Zulu blood, like duh, but coloureds were trested different so tjey identified as Boers. In Canada, we have the same dynamic in reverse. If you can claim some native blood, at minimum you can claim Metis Staus, or, even if 7 out of 8 grandparents belong to the Royal Family, and one is Buffy St Marie, you can claim to be a status Indian.

    There are no Metis in Ontario but Tony Belacourt and the OMA has brough beat the Supreme Court to agree to this non-sense.

    Lets just examine it from an ower and an owee point of view. If both sides of the family are owed, then they are owed. If one side owes and the other sided is owed, then they neiter are owed or are they having to pay (ie half breed). But if 3/4 grandparents owe, an one grandparent is owed, the child should owe(ie be non native) then be owed.

    The way the situation is now, in 4 generations, 25% of Canadians will pay no taxes even though their genetics make up less than 5% native blood.

    If you can speak English, read and write English, can find Canada on a map, do basic math, have most of your ancestors come from outside of NA, you are not native, but non-native by definition. Unless..
    we define ancestory by place of birth, not blood. In that case, anyone born on Treaty land belongs to that Treaty. This is what happens when an illegal immigrant has a baby in Canada, their child is a Canadian citizen. Most Grand Chiefs oppose rhis as they could loose an election to a white person.

    Bottom line, racism sucks!

    • “The way the situation is now, in 4 generations, 25% of Canadians will pay no taxes even though their genetics make up less than 5% native blood.”

      Please read this post again, and then read the First Nations taxation post in order to figure out why this claim is wholly inaccurate.

      I won’t bother to deal with the rest of what you’ve said here at this point. I’ve asked you elsewhere to tone down the rhetoric and actually engage in discussion, and I hope you will do that from now on.

      I would also like to point out that I am aware you are also “Ernest” and that I have asked you previously to tone it down, and that we have been able to speak calmly at times. I am going to be more strict with your posts, now that we’ve had this discussion about tone and dialogue more than twice.

    • Seb says:

      Yet Riel himself recognizes the existence of Métis in the Eastern provinces of Canada in his 1885 letters! On top of census found in Quebec, Ontario, even the use of that etnonym in the Maritime and in early American literature! There is now an increasing amount of scholarly work showing the presence of Metis communities all over North America, especially in the MidWest and Pacific Northwest.

      I guess it’s time for you to let go of these blinders about the complexity of Métis identity across North America and the deepest meaning of what culture is beyond the criteria by which you shut so arbitrarily “Métis” from peoples who would be “merely mixed”! The only “merely-mixed peoples” I know of are those who have accepted their assimilation (it’s a personal choice), and now look down at their Indigenous/Métis heritage as a simple genetical anecdote.

  6. Awaia:gon Seneca Nation says:

    Why is it that we as Indian people need a card to be Indians we are the only people that need a Foreign nation to say we are members of another nation….

    we are still indian people i use Indian because thats what im used to hearing.
    the indian act was made to screw our peoples over but yet we are forced to follow it band council are Government Employees. they swear an oath to CANADA they do not swear to up old the ways of our nations they are there to aid the Government with there programs etc.

    this is CANADA and THE USA its Turtle ISLAND these are the home lands of our people where our ancestors are buried where our WAYS or life and our LANGUAGES originated.
    why must we as the Indigenous peoples of this land be forced to follow the LAW, WAY, and there cultures.
    we have our own laws, we have our own GOVERNMENTS.
    if they actually wanna do some good scrap the Indian act, scrap there band councils and FULL ALLOW US TO REINSTATE OUR TRADITIONAL COUNCILS.

    canada you need to stop enforcing things on us.
    in all actuality you have NO RIGHT.

    • Milo says:

      Couldn’t agree more; I am non aboriginal, I live and work on a reserve in NWO. It has been my observation that so long as band members continue to participate in the federal and provincial Canadian government system all the societal issues on the Rez will continue to flourish. Government hand outs kill peoples motivation and spirit.

  7. korenle says:

    Great post.. the confused look when I explain this to people always gets me. Who we are defined as is not based on our own ideologies, or it would be less confusing. Sometimes I answer the question what kind of Native are you with… I am a 6(1) my kids are 6(2).. my kids will have to make a decision when they grow up a choose a life partner and start having kids. Do I want my kids to have status? Do most other people have to make that decision.

    Your blog is so great, it asks the questions we have in our minds and your answers are on point each time with a lil humour for good measure. Keep it up girl. I can’t wait for the Metis post. Your changing the world one blog at a time.

  8. Mark says:

    Treaty 3 incliding the Lind vesion is available on the internet. No mention of Metis but the term half breed is used to give hunting and fishing rights.
    I am a scientist and can not stand illogic. Again, why is someone who is less than half native not called a non-native expecially since non-natives owe natives, or so we are led to believe.
    You can see that half breed is an accurate term, as they get the benifit og hunting and fishing from their one half and the responibility to pay taxes from their other half.
    But if someone is majority Non-native, grew up in a non-native community, they are non native. Otherwise you are saying that ‘native’ blood is somehow more important or precious which is a form of eugenics and is total BS.

    Please find any historical document over 75 years old where the term Metis is used outside of he Red River Valley area and I will shut up.

    • The Treaties do not define who is Métis. Whether or not you are a scientist has no bearing on an identity discussion, which is not a scientific investigation, but rather a socio-political one, rooted in various historical (re: subjective) debates as well as currently evolving approaches.

      I do not appreciate your aggressive attitude on this. I am currently working on a post to deal with the unsettled issue of Métis identity (they’ll remain unsettled at the end of my post btw). You are welcome to participate in a discussion on what I have to say when I have finished, but I would very much appreciate if you do not come full of assumptions, accusations, and demands. You can imagine that I too feel strongly about this, but I do not present my thoughts on the matter as unquestionable fact because to do so ignores the variety of valid opinion on what is not a clear issue.

  9. Mark says:

    Edit:

    I know the issue of identity and identification is a tricky one that gets people very fired up. I understand that you have strong feelings on the matter, and strong opinions to go with them. I respect that. However, I need to provide a balance on this blog so that people do not feel threatened or disrespected and silenced because of it.

    If you can find a way to phrase yourself which does not come across as an attack, then I would very much appreciate you doing so. I will attempt to at least deal with the issue you’ve raised, but I can’t let you drive people away with the tone you’ve taken. We hear it enough elsewhere, and it really does silence the dialogue. I want to avoid that here.

    Dialogue also means being willing to consider other people’s points of view…but they are unlikely to share that with you if they feel you have made up your mind and reject them before ever hearing their opinions.

    I aim this not just at you, Mark, but post this as a reminder to all of us as well.

  10. daveM says:

    I greatly appreciate your post. For me, your posts are an education that I wish I had experienced many years ago.

    I soooo thank you.

  11. Ernest says:

    Edit: Ernest/Mark, you are no longer welcome on this blog. You consistently attempt to inflame the conversation with insinuations and accusations. You have been asked repeatedly to engage in respectful dialogue. As you seem unwilling to do this, please refrain from posting further. I will not give you any further benefit of the doubt or approve your comments.

  12. Emo says:

    BTW, and (sadly) right on topic (for conflicting definitions of “status” vs. “band membership” vs. the right of living on the reserve’s land itself, etc. etc.) for those who don’t already know the story, cf. the strange case of Waneek Horn-Miller… a story that is “old” (2010) and yet still is news…

    [Headline:] Former Olympian faces eviction from reserve over non-native fiancé
    [Quote:] As the band council threatens evictions of any non-natives living on the reserve with Mohawk partners, Ms. Horn-Miller is appealing for a change to a policy that is tearing families apart. “For a few generations now, people being told ‘marry out, you get out’ and being forced to leave, it hasn’t contributed to a healthier society,” she said in her first interview with outside media since she was targeted. “That is not the solution to solving our social problems and saving our language and culture.”
    […]
    In April, with her new home under construction and the arrival of her first child a month away, Ms. Horn-Miller learned a petition had been submitted to the band council demanding a stop to building. About 50 people had signed the petition, complaining that Ms. Horn-Miller’s fiancé, Keith Morgan, had no right to live in the house. The contractor arrived at the work site one morning to find a note directed at Mr. Morgan telling him to leave. Days before she gave birth to her daughter, Konwaskennenhawi, Ms. Horn-Miller received an anonymous letter saying her half-Mohawk child was unwelcome on the reserve.
    [The whole article:] http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com/updates/100716np.html

    If you want to see a photo of the newborn baby (and why not?) they published one in the McGill University newsletter, here: http://www.mcgill.ca/files/fph/OctoberNewsletter.pdf

    • Emo says:

      An addendum on the strange case of Waneek Horn-Miller:

      Her mother (Kahn-Tineta Horn), also, was an interesting historical character, but, I note, her mother’s take on indigenous identity was also starkly opposed to intermarriage (and I have to wonder if this changed in more recent years):
      “She advocated “Indian apartheid” or separate development, including preservation of the reserve system, teaching by natives only, and the banning of Indian-white intermarriage.”
      SOURCE: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/kahntineta-horn

      Of course, that same article concludes by saying that after 1972 Kahn-Tineta was employed in a series of positions by I.N.A.C. (and that must be an interesting story unto itself)… but if anything can result in an activist toning down their “apartheid” rhetoric, it would be that.

      Waneek’s current TV show, BTW = http://aptn.ca/pages/workingitouttogether/videos/full-episodes/

  13. Teresa says:

    Could you give a definition of a C-2 Indian?

  14. moi says:

    juss found brothers son 50,born 1962,adopted ,unwillingly [taken] stolen ,n d n baby,
    soled to white , by catholic relief ,ny
    we are band members ‘abenaki ‘ from odanak ca.
    need a way to tell our story

  15. Lois says:

    My grandfather was full blooded mi’kmaq, my grandmother was white. Together they had a daughter (my mother). My mother married a white man and together they had me. Am I aboriginal…?

    • Whether or not you’re native is an issue of identity, and this article is about legal Status. If you’re asking, are you eligible for Status, then it depends. If your grandmother, as a white woman, was given Status when she married your grandfather (as happened frequently), then your mother would be a 6(1) and you would be 6(2), eligible for Status. But there are all sorts of possibilities that could make this untrue, including being adopted out and not having Status recorded (or passed), your grandmother not acquiring Status (in which case your mother would be 6(2) and you would not have Status), etc. It’s complicated.

      If you’re asking whether being 1/4 native means you are native yourself…again, that’s an identity issue and is much more complicated than what the Indian Act has to say. I can’t really answer that for you.

  16. Rosemary says:

    I and my siblings have applied for Status on 2 occasions and have been denied, though we are told if we have any additional or new information, they will look at our application again.

    My paternal grandmother was born on reserve and then taken off reserve before she was a year old when her father took scrip.

    My maternal grandfather has members of his clan who are on the band roll on reserve. His family took scrip.

    I was raised as a First Nations/Metis person, my parents and grandparents spoke Michif and Saulteaux.
    Indian Affairs say they find no record of my dad’s mother whom was born on reserve.

    I have no doubt our family should have status returned, but where do we start?

    I have a geneology showing which band our family came from and when scrip was taken etc.

    I guess I am hoping that somehow my grandmother’s status could be found or returned, thereby making my dad a Status Indian.

    Can you advise?

    Thank you, any info from you may be helpful.

    Mary

  17. Conni Wolfe says:

    My mother re-gained her Status that was taken from her (both of parents / my grandparents were Status), in turn my brothers,sister and I obtained our status. Are our children qualify for status if we marry non-status partners.

    • It depends on whether she has 6(1) or 6(2) Status.

      If your mother has 6(2) and your father is a 6(2) or 6(1) Status Indian, then this is why you’d have Status. Otherwise you’d have lost Status. I’m assuming your mom has 6(1) then.

      If she has 6(1), you would have 6(1) as well if your father is 6(1) or 6(2). In that case, if you married non-Status, your children would have 6(2) Status.

      If your mom has 6(1) and your father was non-Status, you would have 6(2). Then, if you married non-Status, your children would not have Status.

      It can be very convoluted.

  18. MissNita says:

    My maternal grandfather was 1/2 native and married my grandmother, a white woman. My grandfather did not have status, that I’m aware of. My mother recently told me that her brother [my uncle] got status, as did his daughter [my cousin]. Based on what I’ve read here that just isn’t possible…even if my grandfather was full native, he’d still have to have had status for my uncle to even be eligible for status and even then, my cousin would have no status, right? It’s very confusing.

    And does a parent have to acquire status first for their child to even apply?

  19. Thanks for the very informative article. I am a C-3 Status Indian. I just got my SCIS on Monday after a long time waiting. There are some interesting wrinkles that have arisen with how AANDC implemented the program and their response to the volume of applications received. I am trying to connect with other C-3 applicants to help where I can from my experience in getting through the minefield of application and dealing with the two tier status system the federal government has created with the TCRD (Temporary Certificate of Registration Document).

  20. teamster362 says:

    my wife and i were married 1971,she regained her status with bill c 31.i am white,would i have any rights? native men who married white women ,these women had status,while i did not;ie may wife would like to harvest deer or moose,can i hunt for her,would she have to prove she shot the deer ?any help in this area would be of help.thank you for your time

  21. Pingback: Indian Status in Canada | Native Heritage Project

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  23. Kaihe says:

    Kia ora I’m am a Maori native in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Thank you for your great posts I’m always interested in learning about our Indigenous brothers and sisters. To me and many other Maori people you are not a native based on how much native blood runs through your veins, but rather what you feel in your heart and wairua (soul). I don’t care if you are 1 10th Maori if you say and truly believe you are Maori, then that is who you are. Ma te atua koutou e manaaki.

    • Kaihe says:

      Thanks for the reply

    • Will 0'hare says:

      Thank you very much for this post. I have always felt slightly conscious of the fact that I am only a fairly small percent aboriginal, but I am, nevertheless, very proud of my ancestry, and I am very active in learning about, observing, and promoting my culture as a métis. It truly does not matter what percentage your blood is, as long as you feel the pride and spirit of the culture flowing through your veins!

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  26. Diane Richter says:

    I have had someone tell me that even thou I myself am not status and my husband is. I should be able to be under his medical and status is this true?

  27. Bill Vaughan says:

    Although your original blog is over a year old, I have only just read it as a result of searching the internet to find the definition of a Status Indian. Thank you for providing an excellent and clear definition.

    With respect, I would like to take exception to your comment that “it is amazing that there are any status indians left”, by looking at the mathematics.

    You have indicated 5 combinations for marriage and I would like to add the final possible combination of 6(1), 6(2) and no status which is [no status + no status = no status]. When you consider these six couplings there are12 parents – 4 of 6(1), 4 of 6(2) and 4 of no status, producing 6 offspring – 3 of 6(1), 1 of 6(2) and 2 of no status.

    Assuming a 6(2) is someone with 50% 6(1) genes and 50% no status genes the 6 couplings would result in offspring averaging this same 50/50 genetic split. However the status definition leads to the offspring split as 58.33% status and 41.67 no status. This is a strong bias towards increasing, not decreasing, the status population.

    The root of this inequity is the the 6(2) + 6(2) = 6(1) whereas by genetics it should equal 6(2).
    If this were the case, then the status population would neither increase or decrease relative to the no status, based on the legislation alone.

    • Amanda says:

      I disagree. Look at the population of Status Indians, its not very high. Chances are people are going to ‘marry out’. Bill C-31, while correcting an injustice against native women, also basically set in place the motions for an end of Status Indians. Canada’s version of blood quantum.

      • Bill Vaughan says:

        Amanda, thanks for responding to my comment, but when you say you disagree, do you mean you disagree with the mathematics or simply with my conclusion? Note that in my conclusion included the statement that it was based on the legislation alone and does not take into account other factors.

        You are right that if a majority of Status indians marry non-status then the Status population will decline due to a biased couplings. However, is that not the choice that individuals should be able to freely determine. It seems to me that any legislation that tries to force an ideology that both goes against science and the will of the individuals is in no-one’s interest and is an unsustainable example of social engineering.

  28. Randall Gray says:

    My partner’s father was born full status, Treaty 3 (as was his wife). He joined the military during WWII and, of course, lost his status. His status was re-gained as a result of Bill C-31. Did he, his wife and their children regain 6(1) status or 6(2) status?

    Now that her parents have passed on, they can’t tell her and there is some uncertainty among her siblings and other family members. She seems to recall discussion that although they regained status, it was as 6(2) not 6(1).

  29. Shonen101 says:

    Hello my father that passed ,was status indian and married my mom who is not indian at all. So my dads dad was native also but married a non indian. So does this mean i cant get a status card under the new bill that was passed today? Or am i still considered no indian?!

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  31. Glen says:

    Great explanation, the clearest I have seen yet.

    I was not aware of the 6(1) and 6(2) definitions till now, but it helps explain a lot. I am a “C3″ status, as my dad was C31. My grandmother was full blooded Salish, (no treaty) my grandfather was Swedish. She “lost” her status when they got married, but by dads oldest brothers were born before she was married, so my cousins from those Uncles all had status without C31 or C3 but the rest of us didn’t (including my Aunts & Uncles, until C31).

    Your graphics demonstrating the progression & how it works with 6(1) and 6(2) make it quite clear and were news to me. Although many may disagree with it I think there has to be something in place like that. Under the old system where a non native woman would “gain status” then as long as there were male descendents it could go on in perpetuity, and in a few generations the % of native blood would be miniscule to non existent.

    cheers

  32. Andre Laperle says:

    People seem to have difficulty with the term Métis! Metis is a French word that means “of mixed heritage “so for example a person who is half black and half white is métis. The term has been used to describe the first children of native and white people in eastern Canada. Before the arrival of “Les filled du Roi” . I am métis because i am born from a non status Mi’kmaw mother and a French Canadian father! On the other hand there is the Metis PEOPLE of the Red River settlements who formed a community .

  33. Luke says:

    Good Day! Please help me out her? My wifes 5 generation back on her mothers side had land in The Parish of Baie St Paul in Red River Settlement in Manitoba.I have a copy of letter Dominion of Canada Signed by Commisioner of Oath and it has the Land claim# on it plus Script #. Does this make him have Metis Status?Also would this carry over to my Wife? Many Thanks Luke.
    I have acopy

  34. Jennie says:

    Very informative article, thank you! You cleared up alot of questions I had. I do have one question that I cannot find an answer to: can I get my status even if my father did not get his? He was eligible, just did not legally obtain it. Thanks!

  35. Kay says:

    Hello, my biological father is status indian and my mother is metis. I have all the information to register as a metis. Me and my father dont speak, I only know of his name and his parents names and where he was born. Recently ive heard that i may be status?? could i be status with my mother being metis?

  36. julie says:

    Hi I was just wondering if you could tell me if you think I could get Indian status. My grandmother was full blooded mi’kmaq and my grandfather half. My father was with my mother who was not Indian. My father grew up on Lennox Island

  37. christine says:

    I have quite a dilemma I was adopted as a baby and my adopted parents knew my birth parents. My mother is not Metis but my father was and his name is not listed on my birth certificate or the adoption papers. Both my adopted parents have passed away and I am trying to get my Metis status but I am having a hard time doing this. Would you be able to advise me as to how I go about doing this? I am now 46 and my children have been asking for years about their ancestry and I cannot tell them what I don’t know. It deeply saddens me that Back in the early 1970’s the adoption process didn’t ask more questions and have more information available to all of us adoptees. It just isn’t fair! Thank you for your help

  38. Mairie says:

    My father’s family moved from Oka, Quebec to Renfrew, Ontario in the 1800’s. Is there a way that I can find a link to a registered member of my family? I have been able to locate records going back as far as my grandfather’s grandfather (marriage, census, military, will), but I have found nothing regarding registration. I understand that many records were lost when the church in Oka burned down. Can you point me in the right direction please?

    • Amanda says:

      Did your father’s family move from Kanesatake or from Oka? There’s no online database of Indian registration, its private information. The INAC offices, however, do have all that information so you’d have to contact them. You could also contact the Membership department at the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, the woman who runs it is named Linda and the number to the band office is 450-479-8373, I think.

  39. Tony says:

    Thank you for this explanation. I have always been confused about these terms.

  40. gofcar48 says:

    You should be able to apply for your Dad’s status and then depending on his status apply for your own. My mother in-law had to apply for her mother’s status years after she had passed away in order to send in her status application.

  41. Nancy says:

    Please help,I’ve looked into my family history believing all this time that I was of mixed race,my father black and my mother white.Come to find out my great grandmother Martha Rozarro Wallace was an Qbjibwa,pure blooded Aboriginail woman.What is my status?Please help

  42. white man says:

    Edit: Racist McRacester vomits up tired racist stereotypes and is denied a platform. Cries crocodile tears and stamps his little racist feet.

  43. Kim says:

    I am Metis, my mother calls it non-status Indian but we are of French and Native blood so I’m calling it Metis. You can’t tell it by looking at me, I’m way to pale (I get that from my father’s family), but unfortunantly I don’t have a way to prove this because they used to keep all the records in the church… and it burnt. Still, I’m going to see if I can’t get status once the government sorts out the ruling that the court gave saying that Metis should have status too.

  44. treaty question says:

    I have a question. I hope I can get a answer. My mom was metis and she married into a reserve, she gained her status from there. They divorced and she kept her status, I was born my father was a full treaty from a different band. I gained status from my mothers married reserve due to the fact that there was a letter which was sent to both bands from the government of Canada (INAC) saying either band had to take me in as a band member. I fear now can the reserve or band kick me out or take my treaty away, along with my membership? I know that I will never receive a house on the reserve and I just have fear for my kids and their status. Please help

  45. Rachel says:

    Nancy, I don’t know you but we may related. My research into my family history has brought me to Martha Rozarro Wallace married to Lawrence, living in Charles City, VA. around 1825. Sound familiar? I currently live in Dresden and would love to figure out if we have this connection.

  46. Confused says:

    Quesion?, a lady who is a 6(2) whose mother is native and father is non-status originally from a different reserve, then she married around 2000, transfered to our community, and now after the famous McIvor case, her son is now a status indian( i forgot to mention his father is 100% non-status) , the trouble im having is , how does he get to become a band member to our community without the people knowing, or even having a say, she just shows up one day with a paper stating his status acceptance to our community, and how can she even pass down her status to him? Is there anything that can be done to stop this from happening? is there a process on what the band can do to stop people from being registered into the bandlist, because they buy cheap gas and cigarettes and one day wake up and say hey im an indian now, i want to be from so and so

    • I don’t know of any way to stop it from happening, no. Most FNs have been given a list of the potential people who could ask to be registered as members of the Band, and I’m not sure that any community could successfully absorb so many new people. I think it depends on what kind of membership rules the Band has. Some people will be eligible for Status, but not necessarily for automatic Band membership. I haven’t seen a good study on the issue, and so all I’ve been able to pick up is what has happened in specific communities (mostly not much yet because even with the case, a lot of paperwork is involved in getting actual Status).

      But this is the issue, isn’t it? Colonial governments have been dictating membership to native peoples for centuries now.

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  48. AlsoConfused... says:

    Hello, I was hoping you could help us figure this out… I’m not sure what marriage parts still hold of this stuff. My fiance’s great-grandfather was technically eligible for status as a 6(1) indian, though he never actually got it. If he didn’t get it does that stop the line already? If not, then he married another 6(1) and my fiance’s grandfather was eligible to be a 6(1) Indian as well (again, didn’t actually get status). His grandfather then married his grandmother, thus transferring the 6(1) eligibility to her (?). So now his mother is technically eligible to be a 6(1) indian, though she hasn’t applied for status or anything yet either. Another wrench is that my fiance’s father and mother never married (accident, oops!), and she later married another non-indian man. So since he was illegitimate, does he just get his mother’s status? Or does it get downgraded to 6(2) eligibility?

    I’m confused about all this, but I want to get it straight before we try to apply for status for him…

  49. sharron says:

    I found your explanation regarding our native ancestry very helpful. I myself am of native status and for almost 15 years now have been trying to figure if my children have status. Between immigration and native affairs, I can honestly say I had pretty much given up. I am hoping that this new Bill C-3 will prove helpful. I will keep you updated.

  50. cheryl stuart says:

    wow…I have been looking for these explanations for years…I’ve bookmarked your blog (hope you don’t mind) for future reference….I have an interesting twist to the above….we adopted a child when he was 5 weeks old…were told he was ‘maybe metis’….years later (when he was about 10) we found out that his family was in fact status and his birth mother had a treaty number etc….we have been very fortunate to have met his family and in particular his birth mom prior to her passing in 2008 – anyway…when we initially applied for his status I got a call from INAC in Ottawa saying the dates were all matching up but the names weren’t…turned out his maternal grandparents names were spelled differently than his mom’s on the registry…because of my employment I was aware of this and told INAC and he was granted a ‘blind’ treaty number (until he turns 18)….his birth family is now claiming they know who is father was (altho I doubt the story)…he was turned down for Band Membership twice – the last time because not enough members came to vote..however the Band is now saying they plan to change their bylaws so that anyone with a parent who was a member will now be eligible ….so I think he will be in….I don’t think his kids will be able to have status unless he marries a Native lady….but who knows….

    I know there are alot of folks out there who are angry about aboriginal kids being adopted out….the “mistake” with my son (there is a moretorium (Spl??) in Alberta that Native children cannot be placed for adoption was all in the spelling on the INAC list (which I’m grateful)…however we have worked hard to ensure he has connections, knows his birth family and have worked to ensure he stays involved with his culture….just saying not all adoptive parents are negative about it

  51. Jim Wilson says:

    Hello, I was given this site by my member of parliament, and maybe I am not completely on the ball today. But to make a story short, what I would like to know is if my son can get status…here is the picture, and I will make it short…
    My mother (full status) married my dad (non-status-white)…When Bill c-31 was passed, I applied and recieved status, so did my sister. Now I would like to get my son the same, as I am now status, but his mother is white (non-status). But according to the 6(1), 6(2) scenario, my son is not entitled. But yet a Status male (back then) could marry a white woman, and they all get to be called status…I am now confused…Please help

    • If I understand you correctly, your mother lost her status when she married your father, and had it reinstated or was eligible to have it reinstated when Bill C-31 was passed, but only passed on 6(2) status to you and your sister. So under that regime, if your partner is non-status then your children cannot have status. However, Bill C-3 was supposed to correct that issue by making you 6(1) which means your children would be 6(2), with status. Whether or not you can successfully get that status is a bureaucratic issue I can’t help with, unfortunately. Good luck!

      • Jole says:

        Ok I know this post is years old but wondering if you can help me … My great grandmother lost her status because she married my great grandfather ( his grandfather or father? took scrip therefore he never became status) now my grandmother has gained her status(6(1)?) from bill c3 and passed it to my mother (6(2)? She is entitled to register but has not) my father is on none of my records so I am not status basically what my question is can I get status from a grandfather who took scrip? And also am I right by saying my mother would be a 6(2)

  52. kattii says:

    to much bullshit, native people are bown easy as that :P

  53. Brittany says:

    Thank you for the explanations. If someone believes they should have treaty status, and they know which band they should be alligned with (but do not live there), should they contact the band, or contact INAC?

  54. Briannah says:

    If I am either 1/8 or 1/4 can I claim Status?

  55. Shelley says:

    Amazingly informative. Sad to think who we are is so tied to the fear of who gets what which certainly runs this Canadian culture. The big economic stick wins the economic battle. Some of us are just looking at the heart and finding solace in discovering past connection. Happy to hb, and a mongrel dog which is a healthy mix.

  56. I am status indian and married non status women (white) people have been telling me that she can be status under me if so how do we go about doing this

  57. Bear Robe says:

    Hi There,

    Thank you for your time and energy posting this info. I am a 1/8th blackfoot from my fathers side and have been trying in vain now for a couple years to get status. The reason being I we are a very low income family and I wish to go to school but could not afford to without help. I have applied 2 times and been denied, the response said, ” just because you have indian ancestry doesn’t mean you are entitled to status under the act. ” My Grandmother on my dads side lost her status when she married my white Grandpa and is now gone. My father is also gone and so there is little to no records I can find of the past. Any help or pointers you could give would be so appreciated. Thanks!

  58. G. Kim Pallante says:

    Help me out if you can. I was born in Montreal in 1966. I was adopted at birth. I have no information of my birth parents. I do look native and am wondering if there is a way other than dealing with Aboriginal and northern affairs ( because they work on some time clock I do not understand), that I can prove I am status or metis? Will a DNA test help me? If so, where, who do I contact?

  59. No More Apartheid in Canada says:

    Edit: racist blather worthy of a Levant rant, posting from Ottawa.

  60. Karen says:

    Hi, I don’t know if my question actually applies but I was hoping you’d give me a little insight since your blog has definitely helped me thus far regarding treaty rights.

    My boyfriend is a 6(1), status Indian, and I’m a non-Indian, no status. We’re thinking of getting married and from what I’ve read his status stays the same. Now my question, will his treaty rights transfer to me and will I gain a sort of status? Or no? I’ve been searching online for an answer but haven’t found much, I might just be looking in the wrong places.

    But if you have any answers for me, please let me know. Thank you!

  61. Meghan says:

    Can you please explain what a 6(1) indian is and a 6(2)? I read the section in the indian act you linked, but can’t make sense of it really, and your explanations are great! I am adopted and only just received my status, but have no idea where the status came from (from which side of the family, or how far back the status is, etc).

  62. Lance says:

    Gee where to start … Yes I`m sure we Status Indians need to be told what we are,why we are, and who we are, and while you are at it, Why don`t you mock 6-2 status Indians as well … After all you are a NO BLOOD QUANTUM REQUIREMENT METIS … aka ” STATUS INDIAN EXPERT”… and CRITIC on STATUS INDIANS … and unlike most Status Indians … Any wanabe Metis can find some shady Metis org that will take their money & give them (your complicated) MEMBERSHIP…

    Thank goodness for Metis National Council … that they have come up with ( AND RECOMMENDED TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT) a Metis standard requirement … to QUALIFY FOR CANADIAN GOVERNMENT METIS STATUS … because the way Metis Status can be in some groups, BUT NOT ALL METIS GROUPS … anybody & their dog can claim to be Metis… or as we status refer to them, being THE NO BLOOD QUANTUM WANNABES … or more commonly known as … Cherokee NO-BLOOD QUATNUM-REQUIREMENT-OR-LINEAGE-NATION… who are a JOKE …

    So if I may suggest to YOU … Go check out YOUR OWN BACK YARD – (my views} to find out … IF YOU STILL ARE, OR WILL BE IN THE FUTURE … That is … A LEGAL … STATUS METIS …

    Lets all say … METIS NATIONAL COUNCIL … REAL LOUD … lol :)

    • Lance says:

      Google Metis man (my views)

    • This article is about explaining Status to settlers, who often know little or nothing about it. Other articles on this site deal with common misconceptions non-natives have about things like taxation, ‘free’ housing and so on. The purpose of all these writings is to counter the hateful stereotypes that dominate the mainstream discussions about Indigenous peoples.

      Because those stereotypes are so common, and so negative, it understandable to assume the worst about articles dealing with native issues. It may take a second read to see the words for what they are.

      êkosi

  63. Maggie says:

    Thank you so much for your attempts to educate Canadians on a very complex subject. When my parents emigrated from Ireland in the early 1960s they adopted a First Nations baby – my sister. The birth mother refused to provide the name of the father and so my parents made whatever little information available to my sister should she choose to locate her birth family. My sister is Ojibwa as it turns out but although her birth family knows of her they refuse to acknowledge her in any way even though her birth mother had two additional children. My sister’s birth mother died recently still refusing to give my sister any information about her heritage. Why would this kind of treatment which has caused a lot of pain for our family over the years be necessary? It goes against everything that I have learned about the holistic nature of First Nations people.

    Also, the term First Nations has recently come under fire – I have been told that Indians laugh out white people’s use of a ridiculous term that has nothing whatever to do with people who refer to themselves as Indians. Seems to make no difference what you do.

    Finally, I wondered if the remaining members of my sister’s birth family come to a point in their lives where they actually acknowledge her existence where do we – her adoptive family – fit in?

    I appreciate any insight that you might have that would help.

  64. a.h.richards says:

    Thank you for this detailed and thorough post. It has cleared up some questions I have about native status in Canada. I have an unanswered question, in that my Great Grandmother was Lenape/Delaware, from Pennsylvania, and I don’t know if that means anything in terms of being ‘Indian’ or native to any degree. Could you comment on that, and/or send me off in the right direction to find out more?
    My family is predominantly Welsh, but there was much intermarriage between Welsh settlers in the U.S. and the native peoples. My Great Grandmother, Hannah Platt, married one Great Grandfather, then moved back to Wales after he was shot to death. She then married another Great Grandfather. (Very complicated genealogically:) ) I am very interested in this history. Any insight you could give me would be wonderful, as to my question above – if I haven’t already confused the heck out of you. :)

  65. Laura says:

    So if I have court papers, I an entitled too claim myself as a Native American? They were signed shortly after I was born. Didn’t know about it until recently.

  66. SoloCare says:

    Thank you very much for the explanation! I am not native (only 2nd gen Canadian) but had always wondered the basics. And it’s more than enough for me to have a starting point to learn more!

  67. David P Ben says:

    everything was ok until 6(2) ‘appeared’ in the equation/(explanation) (def of a 6(2) req’d)…but then again this (classification) helps AANDC/INAC/DIAND ‘manage’ and keep the First Nations/Native Americans under close scrutiny/SURVEILLANCE if you will…sadly they/the Feds did not “officially’ consult us on these matters right?..obviously they blindly and willfully and of their own choosing prefer to remain ‘answerable’/accountable to other future legal ‘implications’/wranglings(wrongdoing) etc..for refusing to budge when the call was made eg for First Nations “consultation” and “input”..there is a whole backlog/corrections/amends to be made if we wish to live in harmony with one another…someone needs to “listen”

  68. Jennifer says:

    Hello, my mother lost her status as she married a white man. I finally got the Bill-31 and I am status. I am 50 Cree / 50 white. My son couldn’t get status cause he is 1/4 Cree. Question .. My son’s father is métis. My son wants status, but what should Iook for?? Indian status application or métis application ? So much to read and very confusing. I know my other son father is Caucasian (white) so I know he looks for métis , correct? Thank you very much for any responses. Jen
    brattybrat1@hotmail.com

  69. Glen says:

    Jennifer – your son(s) sounds like he is in the same situation as me, and you are as my dad was. My dad was eligible for C-31 as you are, and I was able to get my status through C-3 last year, as your sons should be able to as well.

    If you read the post very carefully it explains it in great detail, and this link takes you to the site you need to get the forms from.

    http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1305747570701/1305747904278

  70. Samantha says:

    Thank you :)

  71. Wayne says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your article. It was most informative and I actually got the jist of what you were trying to inform us of….I think I did anyway…LOL!

    Anyhoot, the effort and information is to be commended. I do have a scenario for your consideration. It goes like this:

    I just recent (Spring 2012) found out officially that my mother is Mi’kmaq from NL. She knows nothing about it as here heritage is something that was kept from her by her parents. Her Father is Censused 1921 Mi’kmaq but there isn’t any documentation on her mother regarding identifying as Mi’kmaq in any formal information source. We believe that her mother was Mi’kmaq also but know practically nothing of a formal nature about her family. However, if I understand you scenarios of 6-1/6-2 statused Indians, my mother is a 6-1 because her father was a 6-1 who passed 6-1 status on to his wife when they married in in early 1900’s. Am I correct in this so far? Then, my non-statused mother (a 6-1 ) married my father in 1966 who was non-native an had her son me(wayne). By virtue of your explanation that would make me a 6-2 status eligible Indian. Am I on the mark thus far?

    Now for the interesting part….I’ve applied for band acceptance with the Mi’kmaq/Qalipu in NL in the current Band reunification. I’m a documented sexual abuse/trauma survivor. II have PTSD and a variety of other health concerns as a direct result of my childhood/teenage circumstances and The problem here is that I no longer live in Nl. I left in 1998 because life there was too difficult and my trauma affected living was overwhelming Basically, I had to escape. My problems only worsened and herein lies my question. I have medical validation, that due to my illness, I was not capable of being present to live or attend to the Mi’kmaq way of life that the band is stipulating one must have adhered to in order to be recognized by the band and accepted as a registered member. Since officially finding out the heritage information, I’ve delved into reconnecting to my culture and am honoring/participating it many culture lived practices and ceremonial ways. I’m wondering what your opinion would be of one such as myself when it comes to being considered for band acceptance by the Mi’kmaq/Qalipu in NL. I am as connected and involved as I can afford to be and am meeting so many walls to moving forward positively. I know that spirit does not need to be included in this band to be happy but it would make a big difference to the whole reconnection piece I am trying to have happen. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?

    • There are a few things at play here, but ultimately your journey to reconnect is really the most important part of it. Status is a Canadian government defined form of identification, it’s possible that were you to apply you’d be eligible. Band membership however does tend to be up to the specific nation, and can be defined in a host of ways. But membership is still not the be all, end all to identity. Having these kinds of recognition does tend to soothe the soul somewhat, for whatever reason, but they do not necessarily make the entire process of reconnection any easier. Your story is not an isolated one, and none of these barriers make you less who you are. I don’t really have any advice beyond continuing to do what you can to reconnect, and not beating yourself up too much for what you aren’t able to control.

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  73. clarissa says:

    My mom is status & my father is not aboriginal but they were never married I’m status my kids father is aboriginal but not status I want my kids to be under my band but Indian affairs are saying my kids can’t be status . I don’t get it

  74. zachary dykens says:

    My father is or was native. Not sure if he’s still alive. But my mother has no status at all. That makes me a 6(2) right?

  75. KJ says:

    Hi and thanks to âpihtawikosisân for making this informative post/blog. I’ve always wondered about what I can do to get status or register or maybe just be recognized as native, but my situation is very complicated. I have native blood on my father’s side but he is completely unwilling to help. He’s a very conservative man who assumes the worst in all people and the only time I ever approached him about this (20 years ago) he assumed it was some sort of scam so I will never ask for his help again. My grandfather was a status Indian. The details are very sketchy but I don’t think my grandmother (his wife) was status but she may have had had native blood (I’ve been told both). I have no clue whatsoever if my father has status, but I’m going to have to assume no and my mother is 100% not native. I have 2 cousins that are status with exactly the same ancestral situation as me, but for all I know there father (my uncle) may have status.

    If I read the charts in the original post, I think it’s possible I’m the result of a 6(1) + (no status) -> 6(2) + (no status) = (no status).

    Can it really be this stupid? My cousins with the exact same blood as me are status because their father got a piece of paper and mind didn’t? I can’t be the first person in Canada who couldn’t prove their status because their parents were gone or estranged. Is there some resource for someone like me? Is there any way to force the government to accept DNA testing as proof? For the record, my only interest in this is because I’m proud of my heritage. I have no need at all for benefits, etc. It’s something I’ve always felt was mine and I want to be able to show it,

  76. Jayme says:

    Because of Bills like these our housing program is in the toilet! Bill C-31’s can’t vote in our band elections as deemed by our band.

  77. Unfortunately Bill C-3 only gives status to grandchildren of women who enfranchised through marriage and not to those who enfranchised through application. This is the case in my family. My grandmother enfranchised through application after 2 of my uncles were born so they had/have status and were able to pass it on to their children (my first cousins). The rest of my grandmother’s children, including my mother did not get status until 1985, and non of their children (including me) got status, and can still not get it after Bill C-3.

  78. One who walks in the light of the shinning stars says:

    This status system is designed make Native Americans extinct !! It’s like having a member of your community grow up accepted in their community only to tell them once they turn 18 your not from here. Long ago when born not of full blood you were still a member and will always be !

  79. Jeff says:

    Hi, I just read through your article and it was very informative. I have one small problem that wasn’t answered though. My father has status but my mother doesn’t due to her being non-native, but I’ve already been told I could be eligible for getting status. Now the tricky situation is he’s not listed on my birth certificate due to personal issues between my parents. And on the website it said it was a requirement that both parents names be listed as proof etc. So basically what I’m asking you is do you know anyway I could go around that bump, as in having him write a letter stating he was my father? I’m currently 24 and I’ve been waiting to put this in motion since I was 18 but didn’t know the proper way of doing it. Any information regarding this situation would be a blessing. Thank you!!!

  80. Leah says:

    I loved your post. Very informative!! I was wondering tho, if a status indian lives off reservation, are they entitled to the same benefits? Like school supplies provided, school lunch, etc. My daughter has a band card but we do not live on the reserve.

  81. L MacKay says:

    Hi hope y o u can help regarding non status. My mother in law we found out is non status with both her mother and father being first nation Mic Mac from Nova Scotia and fully documented with birth certificates etc. She is 90 years old and knows she is non status Mic Mac. How would it be possible to get her status while she is still living her records go back to 1611 or is it just not possible.
    She is and has been a fine lady and just last year she attended her first Pow Wow and she really enjoyed it. It was a cruel way of life many years ago and they identified as French instead of Native! Can that make her a non aboriginal and remain non status

    • David P Ben says:

      L MacKay:..has she applied for status..sounds like she hasn’t..there are benefits eg ‘status Indian’..I would suggest she go to the nearest Mic Mac Admin/Band Office and have the person doing ‘membership’ apply on her behalf..or perhaps faster she can apply directly to DIAND/AANDC giving details..

  82. dianne says:

    hi I would like the forms for my indian stadites card but don’t no how to get it my great grandfather was from fort Covington ny and i don’t no were to get the forms for there can anyone help me it would be realy nice been trying for a long time so please help thanks

    • David P Ben says:

      if you go to the nearest First Nations admin/Band Office they should be able to help you..if they are ‘genuine’ First Nations people hahaha jks..or if you apply directly to DIAND/AANDC in Ottawa you should get some response fairly quickly and prob have your status within a month to 4 months..I can ck it out..

      • David P Ben says:

        if you go to the BO/Admin of any 1st Nation you will need: 1)SIN #
        2) Birth Cert 3) Hosp Card..ck/ph the one doing Band membership/Citizenship/status cards at the Admin/Band Office to see what documents are required

  83. Candace Dulude says:

    What if a 6 (2) Female Indian has a child but the father (non status) is absent and not on birth certificate. Would this child be eligible to be status?

  84. Angela says:

    You clarified so much for me. Great read!

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  86. Sue says:

    What I got from the comments everyone trying to get status you don’t know your culture then your not native your mother or father married none native abondoned the native side and lived white they did not carry on the teachings, you have 100% juice and you keep diluting it soon it will be 0% juice which means there will be no natives left if you marrying none native, if your native you know your roots culture and language and you pas it along

    • David P Ben says:

      yep the more you go the other way the more difficult it may be to legally ‘argue’ (attain/achieve) ‘full’ status..lately however and via legislation the PC govt has ‘recognized’ the Metis as “Indians”..this could mean several things however eg the Metis having the ‘same’ rights as the Treaty ppl/Indians (?)..the government has no right however to “grant” you INDIAN status if indeed you ARE Indian..the government has no authority to ‘give’ as it were, Indian status..the Treaty business is not over by any means, not by any stretch of the imagination..our interpretation and view of the Treaties has not been heard nor understood by the ‘other’ side of the Treaty table..its in the works..eg the biggest Native American Summit in North America..the summer of 2015..HOLD YOUR BREATHE Native North America..Canada and the USA..WITHOUT CONVERGENCE OF THOUGHT AND UNDERSTANDING THERE IS LITTLE CHANCE OF PEACE AND TRUE BROTHERHOOD..

      • David Ben says:

        meaning the govt cannot, much less ‘create’ Indians..our birthright..we’re “not” defined by what the govt deems right and fitting for us Indians..history and the global community acknowledge our Nationhood (1st ppl on this North American continent) and as a thriving society before the foreigners/immigrants landed on our shores..the governments (American and Canadian) must take it upon themselves to accept (and accommodate) without question our ‘inherent’ rights as the first Native North Americans..no government(s) can deny you/us the right to enjoy life (and “status”) on our Land as originally
        “given” to us by the Creator..our rights as Native North Americans come first..

      • Jane says:

        Hope I can word this properly and simply. Why would any native commitee or however you want to put it, allow FORTH GENERATION to have a status card or membership card or whatever you call it, to hunt and fish anytime anywhere and take as much as they want? Isn’t there enough problems in this day and age more so with the amount of fish being pulled out of our almost fished out waters and being able to take as much wildlife as they choose? I do not get this. Is this something new or has this been the way for years? Maybe only certain groups of natives permit this? The people I know who use these cards are about as much native as I am jet pilot. I don’t get it.They don’t have to sneak around and poach anymore because they have a card in their wallet now that says they have the right. B.S.

        • Like totally, however you want to put it, like why are like the Indians or however you want to put it, allowing people to like call themselves Indians or like um well maybe like I don’t even know if that’s how it works, who decides Status? Oh wait, it’s not Indians themselves? Oh wait, Status is intended to eventually ensure there are no Indians left so that Settlers can finally have a legitimate claim to the land or however you want to put it and what? It was Canadians who destroyed the cod fishery, and are responsible for the extinction of hundreds of species since Contact, not native peoples or however you want to put it? I don’t actually have a clue what I’m talking about, but let me blather on some more okay?

  87. Rachael says:

    So I noticed you kept saying married. If my father who was adopted, was Metis by blood and had me with my European mother out of wedlock. What then?

    • First, Métis people do not have Indian Status. We fall into a different ‘category’ under s.35 of the Constitution. If you mean half-Indian, that is a different story. If your father had Status, but his name is not on your birth certificate, then you would have a very difficult time proving that he is your father, and that you are eligible for Status. Despite gains made in the treatment of relationships outside of formal marriage, this problem does continue to be an issue for many.

  88. John Gnann says:

    Can anyone tell me if a status first nation Indian in Canada is automatically a Canadian citizen? If not how do they go about applying for citizenship? Thanks.

  89. Crystal says:

    Thanks so mkuch for the informative post. I recently applied to have my children regostered as Indians and ultimately get them Indian Status. My father is full Native and passed on Status to my mother (German) when they married in 1981. I have Status and from your post I believe I hold 6.1 status. Therefore I am hoping that my children are eligible for registration and Status and should get 6.2. My partner is not Native. However, my oldest daughter has a different father who is eligible for registration and status but has no desire to get this. If he did then she would be a 6.1? But if my younger children qualify then I will be happy with my oldest daughter getting 6.2. Confusing!? However, from your post I feel confident that I have the answers that I was not able to get ANYWHERE else. Bookmarking.

  90. Kels says:

    Hello! Thanks so much for posting this…and for continously providing your wisdom! I am a 6 (2) Indian. My mother is full Ojibway and my father is Caucasian. My mother lost her status when she married my father, but was able to regain it. I have status and am also a member of my band. I’ve always referred to myself as Ojibway, as that is how I was raised. I am starting to get mixed up because people continously refer to me as Metis and I have a difficult time explaining that I am half Native, yet status. I’m starting to second guess myself here and could use some advice if possible. Thanks again for all your help!!

  91. Becky says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for writing about this topic; it is very close to my family situation. My paternal grandfather was Ojibwa, born on a reserve and “adopted” out to a white family. In 1960 my father was born out of wedlock and his father is not listed on his birth certificate. I only met him once, a few years before he died. He died while living in native housing. My mother tried to get my father status when I was a baby, but he was not interested and refused to try. My mother sent us to all of the activities at our local friendship centre, so I was raised to know my culture on both sides. I am thankful for that.

    I spent many years trying to apply for my status, but due to lack of band information and the lack of father listed on my father’s birth certificate – I am left in limbo. I was also told I would need to get my father’s birth certificate amended before I could apply, and as he is refusing to help – I have no chance.

    I contacted my grandfather’s adopted family, but they deny he was native american or even adopted (I have family pictures – it is kind of obvious considering the difference in skin colour and very defined facial features). I cannot even apply to the Metis Organization in Ontario because I lack the official documents proving my ancestry,

    I recently accepted a teaching job on a Cree reserve, so I am looking forward to reconnecting with my ancestry, even though it isn’t exactly the same. It is a sense of identity and belonging that people are after. To whom do I belong? Where do I fit, as a non-status anything? Who will claim me? I have written to so many band leaders searching for anything, but there are no documents. Canada has stolen ancestry and heritage from generations of people, and this cannot be reclaimed. The people with knowledge are dead, and we are left to pick up the pieces of a stolen past.

  92. Saggybottoms says:

    I stumbled across this site searching for information to help an elderly friend determine his native status. I became so engrossed in all the comments that I almost forgot what I was searching. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the article it was extremely educational and put my interests into perspective.

    Now it seems their were some negative comments made by naïve people. To them I would like to say that they really need to open their mind and continue reading sites like these to educate themselves on the devastating effects of colonization. We wouldn’t be having this issue of Native Identity if people didn’t take things that didn’t belong to them.

    All my relations.

  93. Ashly says:

    Me and my mother just found out her biological father, who she remembered from when she was a kid and had his last name. He is a full status native from perry island reserve 6(1). My moms mother was a non-status but gained status when they married. She later left him and married another status native and changed my mothers name to his, he raised her as my grandmother kept it a secret from my mom about her bio dad and refused to tell her who he was and as she got older and asked about the man she remembered before her 2nd husband she played it off as if he wasn’t her dad. She is now applying for her status but by what your saying is she would get classed as a 6(1) legally due to her mother having gained status from the marriage to her bio sad correct?

  94. Leslie Doney says:

    My common-law partner passed away on the 30th of May 2014 and I am wondering if there are any benefits that would help me out with costs for cremation and such. He has a Certificate of Indian Status from Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

    • trevor says:

      Contact the mohawk nation to find out about potential funding for funeral costs. If they do provide funding it’ll probably be from the mohawk nation and not the governement. Cheers, and best wishes

  95. Honey says:

    My son is 3 years old…. Had huge medical problems that I can’t even afford all together by myself and his teeth have been going bad I can’t even get his dentist ith out accurent payment…. He is a full blooded native… But his father will not contact me to get his status card done…. Please help…. They told me because I have no father on my status my son cannot be the same….

  96. Scotty on Denman says:

    Thanks for your enlightening explanation. Now, with the groundbreaking Tsilhqot’in decision added to the mix, many notions of status evolution have been recently bandied about—right form “this is only the beginning” to “the end is near!” As you’ve shown, status does evolve, just not in straight lines. I’d say at least one thing’s certain: the relationship between First Nations and subsequent, settling ones will remain as static as the Constitution. Yet, as the William (Tsilhqot’in) decision reiterates, the “Lord moves in mysterious ways” as long as it’s toward treaties. It seems to me that treaties—or should I say, the sporadic, inconsistently conceived but consistently abrogated diversity of them—was, is and always will be fundamental to “status”. No government may abrogate the Crown’s fiduciary duty to “Indians, Inuit and Metis” but modern-day, rehabilitated or rescued treaties do present opportunities for FNs to affect definitions of status, just like, for example the Nisga’a Treaty, BC’s modern treaty, where this nation has since been thus enabled to consider fee simple title—provided it doesn’t interfere with the Crown’s Constitutional obligation to status “Indians”. Such are some of the liberties afforded by having worked on this treaty for 127 years into modern times. I suppose the distinction is that “status” revolves more around statutory, rather than Constitutional law.

    Since the William decision inspires thinking about First Nations’ relationships with the Crown and citizens, there has been some confusion about intent, and while many wonder what the Tsilhqot’in National Government will do with its “windfall” decision, I find many an occasion to correct a few points: this decision is not a treaty—in fact, the Tsilhqot’in do not participate in the BC Treaty Process—it is, instead, a new type of community or group title that impacts protocols for justifying infringement on Aboriginal rights. What the TNG intends to do with this new title remains to be seen but the intent underscored by the well-written ruling—really a reiteration of previous ones, honed sharper by the addition of this type of title—is to work toward treaties which may or may not affect the status of “status”. The decision’s not really a new thing, it is a new way. Anyways, I was surprised to discover the amount of unceded territory in Canada—I thought that was mainly a West-of-the-Rockies thing. Thank you for also mentioning it. (BTW, Vancouver Island treaties were the so-called “Douglas Treaties”, neither comprehensive nor strong enough to prevent the genocidal cabinet minister Joseph Trutch from taking most of them back, having unilaterally “extinguished” Aboriginal title, which was as illegal then as it was in 1763 and as remains to this day—this racist thought he could cherry-pick his own articles of confederation out of the BNA!)

    Finally, I wonder about the importance of blood lineage with regard to adoption: do non-aboriginal adoptees qualify for status?

    It’s been great to have found your site. Thanks again.

  97. trevor says:

    Dear apihtawikosisan, knowing that you grew up in a metis community, I am curious as to your opinion on people such as myself. I grew up in the city not knowing of aboriginal heritage until my early teens. Of course since then I have been trying to get involved in my culture. I saw that some people commented on how urban natives should not identify with aboriginal culture or as being aboriginal, which I do…. :p opinions?

  98. Alva Storc says:

    Thank you so much for the knowledge!
    I have a question about my granddaughter. She is now 17. Her father was 1 half native but never bothered to get his Status card. His family was from Quebec. She sadly has no relationship with him. If she were to get DNA confirmation of her aboriginal heritage (from one of their accepted DNA labs) would the AANDC or the Canadian government accept this as sufficient evidence to grant her a Status card? I will very much appreciate any information you can provide.
    Many Thanks,
    Alva

  99. Ravin says:

    Hi my husband was Metis and I am as well does that mean my children can be registered as Metis even though we aren’t registered

    • trevor says:

      Of course, as long as they can connect themselves genealogically to a metis ancestor. Different organizations have different criteria. Look into local organizations online.:)

  100. Christine says:

    My great grandmother was full first nation she married a white man they had a daughter
    Her daughter my grandma married a white man they had a son
    The son married a white woman my mom and they had me
    Am I able to get status
    My grandma has status
    My dad didn’t apply
    I want to apply
    Thank you

  101. Marla says:

    I`m a status Indian living in Quebec and it absolutely means nothing…

  102. Pauline King says:

    My mother was full status (both parents were full blood), she married a white man & lost her status 5 days before I was born. She died in 1976, prior to Bill C-31. I applied to get her status back, thereby allowing me to get my status. Last year my son was able to apply & get his secure status, even tho his father was white… which confused me. My older brother, on the other hand, was born out of wedlock… so was status from birth as my mother hadn’t yet lost her status. He married a white woman & his daughter automatically had full status, so theoretically… her children would be status, but my son’s children would not, unless their mother was status. So I’m not sure I’m understanding the 6-1 & 6-2 correctly. The lineage only goes back so far. Also very confusing to me, is that a woman knows if she gives birth to a child, where a man doesn’t always know if he, in fact, fathered a biological child. Just recently I remarried a “white man”, but when I did geneological research… he is descended from Drummond Island, where french military men married Indian women & were relocated to the Penetanguishene area of Ontario. He received his Metis card just this year. Because very vague records were kept all those years ago… it can be very hard to trace lineage now.

  103. Judy L. Oickle says:

    Just located this interesting site. Hopefully someone that reads this will be the first to put me in the right direction. I have been trying to hire someone in the Nova Scotia area (Lunenburg Co.) to do the proper search to obtain my Matis status. I send emails and leave phone messages and guess what, no replies.I read about people whom does this and provides you with a card when completed. I also read about people that does this research, takes your money and runs. I want to do this once and to be correct. Please Help.

  104. Isabella says:

    I was wondering if someone could tell me if I am eligible to be considered a status native. I am 17 and my birth father is part native. His father was fully native but his mother was Irish. My problem is that I am not sure if my birth father was a status native or not and he is not birth certificate. But I have DNA documents to prove I was his. so if my mother was not native and my father was part native am I still eligible? I don’t think the diagrams above will help me very much since they never married. if someone could help me out with this it would be greatly appreciated.

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