Non-status Indian

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In Canada, the term non-status Indian refers to any First Nations person who for whatever reason is not registered with the federal government, or is not registered to a band which signed a treaty with the Crown.

For several decades, status Indian women automatically became non-status if they married men who were not status Indians.

Prior to 1955, a status Indian could lose their status and become non-status through enfranchisement (voluntarily giving up status, usually for a minimal cash payment), by obtaining a college degree or becoming an ordained minister.

The 2013 Federal Court case Daniels v. Canada established that non-status Indians (and Métis) have the same aboriginal rights as status Indians, in that they are encompassed in the 1867 Constitution Act's language about "Indians".[1] However, the 2014 Federal Court of Appeal decision "Daniels v Canada" overturned that verdict after the government appealed.[2] In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the 2013 verdict after a subsequent appeal on the 2014 decision. As a result, the federal government has jurisdiction and fiduciary duty over status Indians, non-status Indians, and Métis alike.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Pemberton, Kim (January 8, 2013). "Court decision ends ambiguity for non-status Indians and Metis, now officially 'Indians'". Vancouver Sun.
  2. ^ Rennie, Steve (November 19, 2014). "Metis, Non-Status Indians To Learn If Top Court Will Hear Landmark Case". Huffington Post. Canadian Press.
  3. ^ Galloway, Gloria; Fine, Sean (April 14, 2016). "Métis, non-status Indians win Supreme Court battle over rights". The Globe and Mail.