How Do I Apply for Indian Status?


Question: How Do I Apply for Indian Status?

Answer: Registration does not happen automatically.

For persons born on or after April 17, 1985:

1) Obtain a certified copy of the child’s birth registration that shows the names of the child’s parents. This document can be obtained from the Division of Vital Statistics for the province or territory where the child was born.

2) Write a letter that states that you wish to register the child as an Indian. Give the name of the parent with whom the child should be registered (children are registered with only one parent). Both parents must sign this letter.

3) Send the copy of the birth registration and the letter to your First Nation office or to your nearest DIAND office.

For persons born before April 17, 1985:

1) Obtain and fill out one of the following forms:

  • For a person who is 18 or older: the “Application for Registration of an Adult under the Indian Act.”
  • For a person who is under 18 or for a person who is intellectually impaired: the “Application for Registration of Children under the Indian Act.”

Note: Both forms can be obtained from offices of DIAND, First Nations or Aboriginal associations and Aboriginal friendship centres.

2) Include as much information as you can about the applicant’s Aboriginal background and the name or location of the First Nation or First Nations to which the applicant’s ancestors belonged. If you know the names of relatives who have been registered, you should include these also.

3) Send the completed form to

Indian Registration and Band Lists
Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
Ottawa, Ontario

If DIAND staff require more information, they will contact you by mail or telephone.