Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to our most commonly asked questions mnbc FAQ
Where do I apply for Citizenship?
Citizenship applications packages are available on the MNBC website through our online Métis citizenship application form.
I received an application package, is the requested information mandatory?
Yes, the information requested in the application package is mandatory. Your application cannot be processed without the required information and documentation.
I think I have to renew my MNBC Citizenship Card, how do I do this?
Please renew your card HERE.
I have moved, how do I register my change of address with MNBC?
Please register your Change of Address HERE.
My MNBC Citizenship Card was lost or stolen, how do I get a replacement card?
Please apply for your Replacement Card HERE.
Now that I have my MNBC Provincial Citizenship Card in what ways does this benefit me?
Now that you are a registered Citizen did you know you can:
- Apply to receive a MNBC Harvester card
- Register your minor aged children
- Register your children under the age of five (5) years to receive free books from the Imagination Library.
- Free Admission to Glenbow Museum, AB & BC Royal Museum
- Free registration in the MNBC Métis Business Directory if you are self-employed or are an entrepreneur
- Receive MNBC newsletters.
This card also entitles you to participate in provincial and local Métis governance, including:
- MNBC Provincial Elections
- MNBC Métis Nation Governing Assemblies
- MNBC Annual General Meetings
- Seeking election of a provincial or regional position on the MNBC Board of Directors
- Seeking election as a candidate in one of the Chartered Métis Communities in the province
Am I entitled to medical and dental health benefits?
At the current time Métis Citizens are not eligible for health and dental benefits in BC.
Am I entitled to free housing?
At the current time, Métis Citizens are not entitled to free housing in BC.
One of my parents is Caucasian and the other is a Status Indian. Does that make me Métis?
Not necessarily. You will need to apply and provide information about your Métis ancestry.
Am I entitled to tax exemption when I purchase a vehicle or cigarettes?
At the current time Métis Citizens are not entitled to tax exemption when purchasing a vehicle or cigarettes in BC.
Are Métis in BC fuel tax exempt?
The Ministry of Finance document, revised September 2014, clearly states that Métis are not eligible for exemption under the Motor Fuel Tax Act and Carbon Tax Act. This means you cannot use your Métis Citizenship card when purchasing fuel for your vehicle. The Daniels decision does not change that.
How do we define a Métis community?
This is a difficult question that does not have a straight forward answer. The word “community” can be used in many different ways. It can be used to refer to a collective of individuals in one town or a larger regional collective identity or even the Métis Nation as a whole.
In Powley, the Court said that a “Métis community can be defined as a group of Métis with a distinctive collective identity living together in the same geographic area and sharing a common way of life.” The Court found that there is a Métis community in and around Sault Ste. Marie, but it did not deny the possibility that this community may be a part of larger regional community or a distinct Aboriginal people. As well, in Blais, the Court said that Mr. Blais is “a member of the Manitoba Métis community”. Issues with respect to identifying the extent of the local and regional communities that make up the Métis Nation will need to be determined through research, consultations with Métis citizens, and discussions with governments.
What does "ancestral connection" to the historic Métis community mean?
This means that one of your ancestors was a member of the historic Métis community.
How long will it take to receive my card once I have submitted my application?
Application processing time for complete applications is approximately 20-24 weeks. The Registry processes thousands of applications and the genealogical information must be verified for each applicant. This process can be expedited by ensuring that all information required is accurate and complete when you submit your application.
Does my Métis Citizenship or my MNBC Harvesting Card replace the Provincial licence?
With regards to the recent federal Daniels decision and hunting and fishing in BC, all Métis hunters and fishers still require a BC Government issued Hunting and Fishing licence. The MNBC citizenship card and/or the MNBC Harvesting Card do not replace the Provincial licences at this time. For more information on how the Daniels decision may affect harvesting in BC for Métis please check for updates on our website.
How is Métis identity and Citizenship established in the Central Registry?
Métis identity is established by verifying Métis ancestry; this is done by confirming the applicant’s connection to the Historic Métis Nation Homeland and the founders of the First Métis Nation. With the mandatory genealogical supporting documentation the Central Registry is able to determine this.
What has the Metis Nation done so far on identifying Métis rights holders?
September 2002, the Métis Nation adopted a national definition of Métis. Since that time, the Métis National Council’s Governing Members have been ratifying this national definition in their respective provincial jurisdictions.
The next step for the Métis Nation will be to adopt an acceptance process and build upon or establish standardized and centralized Registries in each provincial jurisdiction based on the national definition of Métis for citizenship with in the Métis Nation. It is envisioned that these provincial Registries will be a part of an eventual national Métis Nation Registry. Governing Members are at different stages and capacities in this initiative and it is hoped that much needed resources will be made available in the near future to undertake this important work.
The information I am looking for is not listed. Where do I go from here?
For all other inquiries, contact the Ministry of Citizenship & Registry.
What is the "Plainspeak" document by the Métis National Council?
This document has been prepared by Jean Teillet and Jason Madden for the Métis National Council(“MNC”) in order to assist the Métis Nation in better understanding the Federal Court of Canada’s decision in Daniels et al. v. Canada,  FC 6 (“Daniels”).
This document is not legal advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Also, the opinions expressed within it are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the MNC.
Where can I get answers to Harvesting questions I have?
Click HERE for Frequently Asked Questions about Hunting, Fishing and Harvesting.
I have a membership card from one of the Métis National Council's Governing Members – can I hunt?
Yes, if you can also provide proof of an ancestral and ongoing connection to a historic Métis community in the territory where you are hunting. However, because the Métis National Council’s Governing Members are at different stages in the development of their respective registry systems across the Homeland, a membership card alone may not be sufficient as proof. You must ensure you meet all three elements of the Powley test.
Are Métis harvesting rights the same as Indian harvesting rights?
In general, yes. Métis and Indians are to get the same priority allocations to the harvest. However, 1 some places Indian harvesting rights have been extinguished or are now set out in a treaty. In such cases, Métis may have harvesting rights that are different. On the Prairie Provinces, Indians may have two layers of constitutional protection – s. 35 rights and the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (NRTA). Métis in Manitoba and likely Métis in Saskatchewan and Alberta, as a result of the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Blais, cannot claim the additional protection of the NRTA. This does not mean that Métis do not have constitutional protection for their harvesting rights in the Prairies, it simply means that Métis harvesting on the Prairies has only one layer of constitutional protection – s. 35.
Are there limitations on my harvesting rights?
Yes. Conservation, health and public safety are all possible limitations.
What is the extent of the territory my Métis community can harvest on?
In Powley, Steve and Roddy were hunting just outside the city of Sault Ste. Marie. They were well within the traditional harvesting territory of this Métis community. Therefore, the Court did not have to decide and did not decide on the exact extent (i.e. specifically how far outside of Sault Ste. Marie) of the traditional hunting territory of this Métis community. Traditional hunting territory usually refers to the area that was historically used and currently used by a Métis community in order to sustain itself. Determining the extent of the traditional hunting grounds of Métis communities will need to be addressed through land use studies, negotiations and agreements and/or litigation.
Is there anything else I should keep in mind for this fall's harvest?
In line with the Métis Nation’s values of conservation and ensuring public safety, please continue to exercise your rights responsibly and respectfully. There is going to be a need for a transition period for governments to come to grips with what the Court has said. This does not mean you should not exercise your community’s right to hunt if you meet the Powley test. It just means that until governments sit down with the Métis Nation’s governments to negotiate there is going to be some level of uncertainty and we cannot provide definitive answers to all questions. Please continue to be polite, be calm, be respectful and harvest responsibly this fall.
How will the decision affect Métis working for First Nations on reserves regarding income tax as aboriginals currently do not have income tax taken off their pay?
The decision does not have any direct or indirect affect on the payment of taxes. How that looks in the future we cannot say but for now it does not.
Are Métis in BC tax exempt in view of the Daniel's case?
No, Métis citizens are not PST or GST tax exempt.
What is the Supreme Court of Canada Daniels decision about?
The plaintiffs originally requested the court issue three (3) declarations pertaining to Métis and non-status Indian people in Canada:
1) Recognition and inclusion as “Indians” in s 91 (24) of the Constitution Act, 1867.
2) That the Queen (in right of Canada) owes a fiduciary duty to Métis and non-status Indians as Aboriginal people.
3) The Métis and non-status Indian people of Canada have a right to be consulted and negotiated with, by the federal government on a collective basis through representatives of their own choice.
Key elements of the judgement by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the three (3) declarations issued on April 14, 2016:
- A declaration that Métis and Non-Status Indians are within the term “Indians” in Section 91(24) is issued. (para. 58)
- The declaration has practical utility to end the “jurisdictional tug-of-war” (para. 15). The Court acknowledged that the current situation has left Métis and non-status Indian communities in a “jurisdictional wasteland” so an answer to the question is necessary (para. 13). An answer to the question will allow these groups to hold government “accountable for the inadequate status quo” and “guarantee both certainty and accountability” (para. 15)
- Section 91(24) is about the federal governments relationship with all of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples—this includes the Métis and Non-Status Indians (para. 49). Section 91(24) and s. 35 should be read together in order to advance reconciliation.
- Constitutional changes, apologies for historic wrongs and appreciation of Aboriginal peoples as partners in Confederation all indicate that reconciliation with all of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples is Parliaments goal (para 37).
- There is no doubt that the Métis are a distinct people (para. 42). No need to delineate between which mixed ancestry communities are Métis and which are non status—they are both “Indians” within s. 91(24) (para. 46) Whether a community is non-status Indian and Métis will be worked out on a case-by-case basis. (para. 47)
- Section 91(24) has a different purpose that s. 35. Section 91(24) is about the federal governments relationship with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Section 35 deals with the recognition and affirmation or rights and claims. (para. 49).
- The Court goes out of its way to note that Métis and Non-Status Indian inclusion in s. 91(24) does not mean that all provincial legislation with respect to these groups are ultra vires (i.e., outside of the authority of provincial legislatures). This means that the Alberta Métis Settlements legislation is not problematic or inconsistent with Métis inclusion in s. 91(24).
- The Crown is in a fiduciary relationship with all Aboriginal peoples, including, the Métis and Non-Status Indians. Delgamuukw and MMF already recognize that this fiduciary relationship based on Indigenous pre-existence. As such, granting the second declaration would be redundant. (paras. 43, 53)
There is already a Crown duty to negotiate with Métis and Non-Status Indian communities recognized in law. Haida, Tsilquotin and Powley already recognize a context specific duty to negotiate when Aboriginal rights are engaged. As such, granting the third declaration would be redundant. (para 56)
Does this decision mean Métis Citizens are entitled to the same benefits as Indians?
The Supreme Court of Canada ruling did not make any orders to begin providing benefits such as medical, dental, housing, tax exemptions etc. Such issues would possibly form the basis of future negotiations with government but it is too early to say when such issues would be on the table.
Did the Supreme Court define who the Métis people are?
No, in fact the Court states that it is only speaking of the Métis in s. 35 in general terms. The Court only set out three broad factors (self-identification, ancestral connection and community acceptance) to be used in identifying who can exercise a Métis community’s s. 35 right to hunt. It remains the position of the Métis Nation that the right to determine who are members of the Métis Nation can only be exercised by the people themselves; however, in order to exercise a Métis community’s s. 35 right to hunt, the Métis identification elements of the current legal test set out by the Supreme Court in Powley, must be met.
Is there anything I should know about the decision?
MNBC will be adding more questions and answers as they are received.
What does a “fiduciary duty” mean?
A “fiduciary duty” is a legal obligation of one party to act in the best interest of another. The Daniels decision stated the following in the decision; “The Court is not prepared to make some general statement concerning fiduciary duty. Given the declaration of right in respect of s 91 (24), one would expect the federal government would act in accordance with whatever duty arises in respect of any specific matter touching on the non-clarified fiduciary relationship”.
What does the April 14, 2016 Supreme Court of Canada ruling mean for Métis Citizens in BC?
In a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest Court in the land has ruled that Canada has a constitutional and jurisdictional responsibility for Métis under s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. This decision in the Daniels case is a huge victory for all Métis people, including our Métis people here in British Columbia because the federal government must now step up to the plate and negotiate in good faith with the Métis Nation. MNBC will also be engaging with the Province of British Columbia on the implications of this decision.
Métis wanted to be included in s. 91(24) because uncertainty about jurisdiction for Métis has been used by Canada to avoid dealing with Métis rights, interests and needs. With the Supreme Court decision, that uncertainty no longer exists.
What other s. 35 rights do the Métis people have?
It is important to remember that the Powley case is only about the Métis right to hunt. However, the Court said that the general purpose of s. 35 for the Métis is to protect the “practices that were historically important features of these distinctive communities and that persist in the present day as integral elements of their Métis culture.” Achieving certainty on other Métis rights protected in s. 35 will come through negotiations between the Métis and governments in Canada and/or litigation.
Where can I get answers about the Supreme Court of Canada Decision (Daniel's Decision)?
Please click HERE for Frequently Asked Questions about what the Daniel’s decision means and how it affects Métis in BC.
What are the Metis National Council doing following the release of the Powley decision?
Prior to the release of the Supreme Court’s decision in Powley, the Metis National Council, on behalf of its Governing Members, had written to Canada requesting that a multilateral meeting involving the Metis Nation, Canada and provincial governments from Ontario westward be convened to discuss Metis harvesting and access to resources related issues. Further, the Metis National Council has made a request to the Federal Interlocutor for Metis to provide immediate resources in order to engage in a series of post-Powley transition initiatives (i.e. consultations with the Metis community, identification of Metis, development of Metis regulatory regimes, etc.). To date, the Federal Interlocutor has not formally responded on behalf of Canada. However, please check the Metis National Council’s website regularly at www.metisnation.ca for updates. As well, please contact your respective Governing Member for additional information specific to your province. Finally, each Governing Member is at various stages of discussions and/or negotiations with their respective provincial government on Metis harvesting and access to resource issues. Inquiries on the status of these initiatives should be directed to your respective Governing Member.
Does this case apply only to Sault Ste. Marie?
No. The Supreme Court set out a test for how a Métis community establishes a s. 35 right to hunt, as well as, who can exercise that right to hunt. This test will be applied to communities throughout the Métis Nation Homeland.
Is the Métis community at Sault Ste. Marie a "Métis people" by themselves?
No. The Court only decided that the Métis community at Sault Ste. Marie has an existing right to hunt protected by s. 35. In fact, the Court explicitly said that it did not decide “whether this community [Sault Ste. Marie] is also a Métis “people”, or whether it forms part of a larger people that extends over a wider area…”.
The Métis Nation maintains its position that it is a distinct Aboriginal people in Canada recognized in s. 35. Sault Ste. Marie and other Métis communities throughout the historic Métis Nation Homeland are a part of the larger Métis Nation. These communities share a common history, language, way of life, culture and kinship connections to form a distinct “people” based on international law standards.
We didn't win Blais – does this mean Métis in the Prairie Provinces do not have harvesting rights?
No, Blais does not mean that. The loss in Blais just means that Manitoba Métis and likely Métis in Saskatchewan and Alberta cannot claim the additional constitutional protection for harvesting provided to “Indians” by virtue of the Natural Resources Transfer Agreements. However, based on the Powley test Métis communities in the Prairie Provinces can have harvesting rights protected by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. It is also important to note that the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench (R. v. Morin & Daigneault) has already held that scrip (regardless of its possible effect on Métis land title) did not extinguish Métis harvesting rights.
Does this case only have an effect on provincial governments? Does the federal government have to do anything?
The federal government must respond to the Powley decision as well. Regardless of jurisdictional issues, the federal government cannot continue to deny or ignore the existence of Metis rights. All governments in Canada have a constitutional obligation to accommodate Aboriginal rights by ensuring their actions do not unjustifiably infringe on those rights.
Specifically, Metis communities throughout the Metis Nation Homeland may have existing harvesting rights on federal lands (National Parks, Department of National Defence Air Ranges) or on lands and resources shared between federal, provincial and territorial governments. These Metis harvesting rights must be accommodated. As well, existing federal policies, legislation and positions will need to be re-evaluated in light of the Powley decision. With these new realities, the Court’s direction on the urgent need to identify Metis right holders engages the federal government as well.