On December 15, 2010 Bill C-3 Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act received Royal Assent and is in effect as of January 31, 2011. Bill C-3 will ensure that eligible grand-children of women who lost status as a result of marrying non-Indian men will become entitled to registration (Indian status). Because of this legislation, approximately 45,000 persons will become newly entitled to registration.
Generally speaking, the key criteria to be newly entitled to registration are:
General enquires on Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act should be directed to:
INAC Public Enquiries Contact Centre
Phone: (toll-free) 1-800-567-9604
TTY: (toll-free) 1-866-553-0554
Bill C-3 applicants will be offered an improved service, whereby eligible applicants can expect to receive registration as an Indian under the Indian Act AND an in-Canada Secure Certificate of Indian Status (status card) in one step. The Secure Certificate of Indian Status is an identity document issued by INAC to confirm that the cardholder is registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Act.
INAC is providing this service to Bill C-3 applicants as they do not currently have a status card. As INAC is moving towards fully implementing the Secure Certificate of Indian Status, it is more efficient for both clients and for INAC to provide these new first-time clients with the new SCIS at the time of registration. Both cards, the current Certificate of Indian Status and the new SCIS provide equal access to benefits and access to programs.
This service has resulted in the development of a specific registration form which must be used by Bill C-3 applicants when submitting their request for registration. Application forms are available at the following locations:
Due to the large volume of applications that is anticipated to be received in a short time frame, INAC will only be offering a self-service mail-in application option. INAC has set up a dedicated processing unit to handle in a timely fashion Bill C-3 applications. We therefore ask applicants not to send their application to INAC regional offices or Service Canada Centres, but rather to mail it directly to the INAC Processing Unit to ensure that their application is processed in an expedited manner:
INAC Application Processing Unit
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
GD Stn Main
Winnipeg MB R3C 0M2
Applicants will be required to include certain identification documents with their completed application form in order to be registered and receive an in-Canada SCIS:
And if applicable:
Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide all required information and documentation at the time of application. This will avoid unnecessary delays in obtaining registration and the SCIS. Incomplete applications will be assessed for eligibility of registration, and if deemed eligible, clients will be contacted to provide any remaining information or documents
We also encourage applicants to use the INAC Public Enquiries Contact Centre (1-800-567-9604) for questions and mail-in their complete applications directly to the INAC Processing Unit to ensure optimal client service under the circumstances introduced with Bill C-3.
Confirmation of registration and receipt of the in-Canada format of the SCIS will occur in two stages. INAC has established an application processing service level standard, which takes into consideration the expectation of receiving large volumes of applications over a short time period. Applications which are complete will be processed for registration within 4-6 months. Individuals who are deemed eligible for registration will receive a letter of confirmation and providing them with registration number which will allow access to benefits and services until the in-Canada SCIS is issued.
If all the required documentation has been provided with the application, individuals will receive their in-Canada format of the SCIS within 10-12 weeks after the letter confirming registration has been mailed.