The Indian Register is the official record identifying all Status Indians in Canada. Status Indians are people who are registered with the federal government as Indians, according to the terms of the Indian Act . Status Indians are also known as Registered Indians. Status Indians have certain rights and benefits that are not available to Non-Status Indians or Métis people. These may include on-reserve housing benefits, education and exemption from federal, provincial and territorial taxes in specific situations. The Indian Register contains the names of all Status Indians. It also has information such as dates of birth, death, marriage and divorce, as well as records of persons transferring from one band (or First Nation community) to another. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is responsible for maintaining the Register.
The Certificate of Indian Status, more commonly referred to as the Status Card, is an identity document issued by AANDC to confirm that the cardholder is registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Act. The Status Card is provided to assist registered Indians in accessing a wide range of entitlements, programs and services administered by federal agencies, provincial governments and other private sector program and service providers. Annually, about 85,000 Status Cards are issued and about 75,000 life events (such as births, deaths and marriages) are recorded in the Indian Registration System.
Registration does not happen automatically. Persons born before April 17, 1985 register for Indian Status differently than those born later. Please read Are You Eligible for Indian Status? to determine your eligibility and for instructions on applying for registration. The bottom of this page contain links to applications that can be printed and filled out, as well as links to learn more about Indian Status and Status Cards.
Those wishing to register for Indian Status in-person may visit our regional office. Please bring with you the necessary information and documents to promptly process your application.