Has your application been denied?
Find out how to protest the Indian Registrar's decision on your application for Indian status.
Who can submit a protest?
When a person applies for Indian status, the Indian Registrar:
- determines whether the person is entitled to be registered as a status Indian
- adds the name of the person to a band list if that list is maintained at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) under section 11 of the Indian Act
Under section 14.2 of the Indian Act, a protest can be made when the Indian Registrar:
- has added a person's name to the Indian Register or a band list maintained at INAC
- has deleted or omitted a person's name from the Indian Register or a band list maintained at INAC
- has registered a person under a category that the person considers incorrect
If the Registrar's decision relates to the Indian Register, only the person directly impacted or their authorized representative can make the protest.
An authorized representative may include:
- a parent or legal guardian of a child (15 or younger) or of a dependent adult
- a lawyer
- another duly authorized person
If the Indian Registrar's decision relates to a band list maintained at INAC under section 11 of the Indian Act, the protest can be made by:
- the band council
- any member of the band
- the person directly impacted or their authorized representative
How to submit a protest?
Once the Indian Registrar has made a decision on an application for Indian status, the person directly impacted or their authorized representative may submit a protest.
The protest must:
- clearly indicate it is a protest made under section 14.2 of the Indian Act
- indicate the grounds of the protest, such as evidence overlooked when the decision was made
- be submitted in writing to the Registrar
- be submitted within three years from the Registrar's decision
Any information provided to the Indian Registrar to protest a decision is received in confidence and exempt from disclosure under the provisions of the Privacy Act.
Where to submit a protest?
A protest must be made by writing to the Indian Registrar:
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
10, rue Wellington
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H4
If you have any questions, contact INAC Public Enquiries.
What will the Registrar do with the protest?
If the Registrar determines that the protest is valid, the Registrar's office will notify the person directly impacted or their authorized representative or the band council, depending on the nature of the protest, that an investigation will take place and that a decision will be made based on the results of that investigation.
When the Registrar makes the decision on the protest, the Registrar's office will advise in writing.
The Registrar's decisions on protests are final and conclusive, but, if you disagree with a final decision on a protest, you may appeal the decision to a court under section 14.3 of the Indian Act within six months after the Registrar has rendered the decision.
According to the Indian Act, the court may:
- uphold the Registrar's decision
- rule that the Registrar's decision was wrong
- refer the case back to the Registrar for reconsideration or further investigation