An individual recognized by the federal government as being registered under the Indian Act is referred to as a Registered Indian (commonly referred to as a Status Indian). Status Indians are entitled to a wide range of programs and services offered by federal agencies and provincial governments. Over the years, there have been many rules for deciding who is eligible for registration as an Indian under the Indian Act. Important changes were made to the Act in June 1985, when Parliament passed Bill C-31, An Act to Amend the Indian Act, to bring it in line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and again in 2011 with the coming into force of Bill C-3: Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act.
Knowing which programs and policies apply to you may be difficult. Legislation varies across the ten provinces and three territories and so do the services available to Canadians in general and to Aboriginal people in particular. What you are eligible for depends largely on where you live.