The Exploratory Process on Indian Registration, Band Membership and Citizenship

When the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act was tabled on March 11, 2010, in response to the McIvor decision, the Government announced its intention to launch an exploratory process to examine the broader issues on Indian registration, Band membership and First Nations citizenship that went beyond the scope of the decision and the legislative amendments passed under the Act.

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of these issues to First Nations and other Aboriginal groups. The Government also recognizes that issues surrounding Indian registration, Band membership and citizenship are complex and that First Nations and other Aboriginal groups hold diverse views on these matters. It is clear that broader reform cannot be achieved overnight or in isolation as it requires the collection of information and the identification of critical issues for discussion prior to embarking on any process for substantive change.

With the passage of the Act into law in January 2011, the Exploratory Process on Indian Registration, Band Membership and Citizenship was officially launched. The purpose of the initiative was to identify, examine and discuss the broader issues associated with registration, membership and citizenship that go beyond the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act amendments. The process was to be inclusive and structured to encourage the participation of First Nations and Métis groups, organizations and individuals at the national, regional and local levels.

A total of twenty (20) national Aboriginal and regional First Nations organizations received funding to lead activities under this initiative. Each organization decided how to engage their constituents and prepared materials to inform and guide discussion. These organizations undertook a variety of activities at the national, regional and local levels, which involved broad participation from First Nations and Métis groups across Canada.

The Exploratory Process formally ended in December 2011 and participating organizations have submitted their findings to the Department. The information shared will help inform the Government's next steps on these matters.

For more information on activities that were led by First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations under the Exploratory Process, visit the following links:

Learn More

Highlights of the findings and recommendations of participating organizations under the Exploratory Process are available by consulting the following document:

Individual reports submitted by participating organizations under the Exploratory Process are available by consulting Reports of Participating Organizations:

To learn more about the background of the Exploratory Process please consult the Frequently Asked Questions reference document:

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Exploratory Process