About Indian status
Find out more about registration under the Indian Act and the Indian Register.
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What is Indian status
Indian status is the legal standing of a person who is registered under the Indian Act.
As a registered person, you have certain benefits and rights and are eligible for a range of federal and provincial or territorial programs and services. You may also be eligible for other programs and services offered by non-government providers.
To find out if you are entitled to register and would like to apply, visit How to apply for Indian status. You may want to research your genealogy and family history to provide additional documents in support of your application.
If the Registrar confirms your entitlement to registration, your name will be added to the Indian Register.
Registration and First Nation membership or citizenship
To be registered under the Indian Act isn't the same as being a First Nation member or citizen.
- If your First Nation's membership list is maintained at Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), your name will automatically be added to the First Nation membership list that your parents are affiliated with.
- If your First Nation controls its own membership or citizenship, you must apply directly to the First Nation to become a member or citizen.
To find out more about First Nation membership or citizenship, visit About First Nation membership or citizenship.
Benefits, rights, programs and services
Registered persons have certain benefits and rights concerning:
- tax exemptions, in specific situations
- non-insured health services
To find out more about benefits, rights, programs and services available to you as a registered person, visit Indigenous peoples.
What is the Indian Register
The Indian Register, maintained at ISC, is the official record of persons registered under section 6 of the Indian Act.
If Métis or Inuit
There is no register at ISC for Métis or Inuit.
- If you self-identify as Métis, you may want to register with your local Métis organization.
- If you are Inuit, you may already be a member of a land claim agreement.
Who is the Registrar
The Registrar is the officer in charge of the Indian Register and First Nation membership lists maintained at ISC.
The Registrar is the only person who has the authority to:
- add a person's name
- omit a person's name
- delete a person's name
to or from the Indian Register and First Nation membership lists maintained at ISC.
What are the key changes to the Indian Act relating to registration
With the full enactment of Bill S-3 on August 15, 2019, all known sex-based inequities have been eliminated from the Indian Act.
To find out more about the key changes to the Indian Act, visit Bill S-3: Eliminating known sex-based inequities in registration.
How to prove you're registered
You can use any one of these documents as proof of registration: