Who is Eligible for Indian Registration?


Question: Who is Eligible for Indian Registration?

Answer: Over the years, there have been many rules for deciding who is eligible for registration as an Indian under the Indian Act. Important changes were made to the Act in June 1985, when Parliament passed Bill C-31, An Act to Amend the Indian Act, to bring it into line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The amendments:

  • repeal discriminatory provisions of the Act, such as those related to gender, marriage and enfranchisement
  • restore status and membership to persons who lost their status under previous legislation
  • give First Nations the option of assuming control of their membership

If you are in one of the following categories, you may be able to restore your status as a Registered Indian:

  • women who lost their status by marrying a man who was not a Status Indian
  • children who lost their status because of their mother’s marriage
  • most people who were enfranchised (agreed to give up their status)
  • children who lost their status at age 21 because their mother and their father’s mother did not have status under the Indian Act before marriage
  • children of unmarried women with status under the Act whose registration was successfully protested because their father did not have status under the Act

You may also be eligible to be registered as an Indian if one or both of your parents are eligible for registration.

To find out more about eligibility for registration under the Indian Act, contact your First Nation office or the nearest DIAND regional or district office.