Non-status Indian

In Canada, a non-status Indian is a legal term referring to any First Nations individual 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 people, in that they are encompassed in the 1867 Constitution Act's language about "Indians"1

However, the 2014 Federal Court of Appeal decision "Canada v Daniels" overturned that verdict2

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld that verdict As a result, the federal government has jurisdiction and fiduciary duty over status Indians, non-status Indians, and Metis alike3


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

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