Indian status and identification cards
How to get identification cards, including an Indian status card.
Both the provincial and federal governments provide a range of benefits, programs and services to Aboriginal peoples.
To access these programs and services, you need to register for certain identity documents.
Indian status cards
An Indian status card (formally known as a Certificate of Indian Status) is an identity document that confirms you are registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Act.
You need to apply for the card through the Canadian government.
As of 2011, eligible grandchildren of women who lost status as a result of marrying non-Indian men are able to register and get a status card.
Though the word Métis has several different meanings and definitions, one common theme is that Métis are people with mixed First Nation and European ancestry, distinct from First Nations, Inuit or non-Aboriginal people.
Métis identify themselves as Métis.
To get a Métis card, you need to:
- apply through a local or provincial Métis organization
- provide documentation and proof of your ancestry
If you are researching your family’s Aboriginal heritage, Library and Archives Canada can help.
If you were adopted in Ontario, you can search adoption records and information through ServiceOntario.
First Nations Inuit (N-Number)
To get non-insured health benefits from the federal government, First Nations people and Inuit require a First Nations and Inuit Health Branch Client Identification Number (N-Number).
These benefits include:
- prescription drugs
- over-the-counter medications
- medical supplies and equipment
- short-term crisis counselling
- dental care
- vision care
- medical transportation
You need to apply for an N-Number through the Canadian government.
If you are a First Nations person, you can get a gas card (Certificate of Exemption) that entitles you to buy gas for personal use from an authorized service station on a reserve without paying the tax.