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 under the Indian Act.
If the Indian Registrar makes a decision concerning the addition, omission or deletion of a person's name from the Indian Register, that person or their authorized representative may make a protest under section 14 of the Indian Act. Also, if the person does not agree with the category they have been registered under, they may submit a protest.
If the Registrar's decision relates to the Indian Register, the protest can only be made by the person directly impacted or their authorized representative.
An authorized representative may include a parent, or legal guardian if the person is 15 or younger or a dependent adult, or a lawyer or another duly authorized person.
If the Indian Registrar's decision impacts a band list maintained by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) under section 11 of the Indian Act, the protest can also be made by:
- the council of the band
- any member of the band
How to submit a protest?
Once the Indian Registrar has made a decision on an application for Indian status, you may submit a protest as identified in section 14 of Indian Act.
The protest must:
- clearly indicate it is a protest under section 14 of the Indian Act
- indicate the basis for the protest and what evidence was 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 you provide 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 may 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?
The Indian Registrar will review the protest, along with the original file and any new information that has been provided, to determine if it is valid.
If the Registrar determines that the protest is valid, the person directly impacted or their authorized representative or the band council will be notified 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 whether the person is entitled to registration, the Registrar's office will advise in writing.
The Registrar’s decisions on protests are final and conclusive. However, if you disagree with a decision, you can appeal at your own expense to a court within six months of the Registrar’s final decision on the protest.
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 further investigation