Applying for Indian Status
How Do I Apply?
- Fill out the Application Form – Aboriginal Legal Services staff will print the form from you.
If you were not able to come in to our office to get them you can get them online here:
- Drop off the form at 25 St Clair Ave E, 8th Floor, Toronto, ON M4T 1M2
- Or mail your completed application with the required supporting documents to:
Office of the Indian Registrar
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H4
You must be 16 years of age and older to apply.
Parental/Guardian Signatures are required when applying on behalf of a minor child (15 years of age or younger) or dependant adult
Supporting Documents: You will need to bring your birth certificate with you if applying in person. The staff at AANDC will make a certified copy. If you are mailing your application, you need to include the original. It will be returned to you by express post usually to a Shoppers Drug Mart near you.
- Legal change of name document or marriage certificate, if the name you are applying under is different from your Birth Certificate
- Custody Court Order
- Statutory Declaration Form(s)
It is important to include the name of the band and band number of your parents, grandparents and any siblings that have been registered under the Indian Act on your application. Status is passed down through your parents and according to whether both your grandparents were Aboriginal or not.
I am an adoptee? How do I apply?
Send a letter with a copy of your adoption order or a letter from the Social Services authorities involved in your adoption placement to:
The Adoption Team
Indian Registration and Band Lists
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H4
The letter should state that you are requesting registration under the Indian Act; include the date and place of your adoption, names of your adoptive parents and your full name as shown on the Adoption Order. If you know who you are biological parents are that will be helpful and should be included.
How long will it take INAC to process my application?
Unfortunately, it will take a long time before you hear back. There is a tremendous backlog in processing status applications in Ottawa. It is best to get your application in as soon as possible, even if you don’t have the supporting documentation. Your application will then be in line for review and you will have time to obtain the documents required and send them in before they get to your application.
Protest and Appeals
If the Registrar denies you Indian status, you can protest the decision. If you feel you are entitled under a different category of the Indian Act, or if your name is taken off the Indian Register, or you disagree with your addition to, omission or deletion from a particular band, you may be able to file a protest against the Registrar’s decision.
You must submit your protest within three years from the date of the Registrar’s decision letter stating the reasons you disagree with the decision.
If your protest is not successful, you can appeal the Registrar’s decision to a court. If you decide to protest or appeal, it is good idea to first consult with a lawyer or Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto.