The Indian Register is the official record of Status Indians or Registered Indians in Canada. Status Indians have rights and benefits that are not granted to unregistered Indians, Inuit, or Métis, perhaps the chief benefits being the granting of reserves and of rights associated with them, including exemption from federal and provincial taxes for residents.
The list is maintained by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Sole authority for determining who will be registered is vested in the post of Registrar.
In 1850 the colonial governments of British North America began to keep records of Indians and bands entitled to benefits under treaty. In 1951 the current Indian Register was established by amendment of the Indian Act.
In 1985, the Indian Act was amended again with the goal of restoring Indian status to people who had lost it through discriminatory provisions of the Act, and to their children. Over 100,000 people who had lost their status in this way have since been added to the Register.
The discriminatory reasons for revoking status were:
marrying a man who was not a Status Indian
enfranchisement (until 1960, an Indian could vote in federal elections only by renouncing Indian status)
having a mother and paternal grandmother who did not have status before marriage (these people lost status at 21)
being born out of wedlock of a mother with status and a father without.
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