About the Central Registry
MNBC, as one of the five governing members of Métis National Council (MNC), is responsible for issuing the only Powley compliant Métis identification card in the province of British Columbia. MNBC is the only Métis organization in BC to be officially recognized by the provincial and federal governments as the official political representative of Métis people in the province of BC.
MNBC’s dedicated Central Registry team work hard to facilitate the Registry and Renewal process for our Citizens. The Registry team’s experience in Métis Identification, genealogy and historical research allows them to be able to not only objectively verity a connection to the Métis homeland but also to help guide applicants through the process, maintain the Métis Nation Registry Operation Standards and PIPA compliance and adhere to the MNBC Citizenship Act
REGISTERING FOR MÉTIS CITIZENSHIP VS MÉTIS STATUS
Unlike First Nations, Métis have Citizenship rather than Métis Status. Historically Métis all belong to one Métis Nation and that is still true today. We were often referred to as the Otipemisiwak, the people who own themselves or the people who govern themselves. Although the Métis lived in many settlements and forts across the homeland, we were considered one nation. We shared a culture and style of governance across the homeland. This differs quite a bit from the many Bands that are now considered First Nations. These Bands vary in many ways and each have unique traditions and cultures. They are many nations brought together to make up the First Nations.
As a distinct nation, Métis are registered in Canada with one of Métis Nation Council’s (MNC) Governing Members are referred to as Métis Citizens rather the than having Métis Status. The term Métis Status is not used by the Provincial, Federal or Métis Governments in Canada. Status refers to someone who is a Status Indian under the Indian Act. Métis and Inuit are not considered First Nations under the Indian act, however Métis are recognized as Indigenous under Section 35 of the Constitution Act 1982 as one of the 3 Aboriginal People of Canada, along with First Nations and Inuit.
Métis Citizenship is registered provincially by each of the Governing Members of Métis Nation Council (MNC). There is not a Federal or National Métis Registry. Instead Métis Register with the Governing Member of MNC in the province where they currently reside. There are governing members of the MNC across the homeland in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Métis who live in a province without a member of the MNC, can register with the Manitoba Métis Federation.
THE NATIONAL DEFINITION
“Métis” means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.”
#380 – 13401 108 Ave
Toll free: 1-800-940-1150
CENTRAL REGISTRY HISTORY AND STATISTICS
The Central Registry is constantly growing. As this happens the Registry Team is constantly looking for new ways to make sure our processes are secure, efficient, and user friendly for our Citizens and Applicants. There are currently 90 000 self-identified Métis in BC. The Central Registry is committed to making sure each of them has the opportunity to apply for citizenship.
Métis are the only Indigenous people in Canada who have control over their citizenship and registry process. The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Central Registry was introduced in October 2004 and fully implemented in 2005. The provincial Citizenship Registry is responsible for compiling and maintaining a database of Métis citizens in British Columbia and is based on the process requirements identified as per the Supreme Court decision of Powley*. The MNBC Central Registry is a member of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and as a member played a key role in the development of the Métis Nation Registry Operation Standards (MNROS). The MNROS ensures and protects accepted operational standards of a Métis National Council’s governing members provincial Métis Registry. (It is important to note this standard does not change or influence the National Definition of Métis, it is operational in nature only.)
Since its implementation the MNBC Central Registry has forged new paths and standards for Métis in the province of BC. Significant challenges have been met and overcome, and numerous milestones have been achieved. One achievement we are very proud of is the fact that MNBC Citizenship cards are Provincially and Federally recognized ID. This means they can be used as secondary ID in a Provincial or Federal Election. We were also very excited to welcome our 20 000th citizen in early 2020.
*What is Powley?
In 1993, Steve and Roddy Powley killed a moose. As a result, they were charged with contravening Ontario Hunting Law. They fought this charge on the ground that section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 protects the right of Métis to hunt for food. When the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Powley’s favor in September 2003, the decision set out the components of a Métis definition for the purpose of claiming Aboriginal rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. These are: Self-identification as a member of a Métis community, Ancestral connection to the historic Métis community whose practices ground the right in question, and acceptance by the modern community with continuity to the historic Métis community. Ensuring that applicants fall within this definition is referred to as Powley Compliance.
MNBC CITIZENSHIP ACT
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Métis Citizen – This is the term used by Provencal, Federal and Métis Governments in Canada to describe someone of Métis Ancestry registered with one of the Métis National Council’s Governing Members.
Letter of Support – A Letter of Support is issued to citizens who need to confirm their Métis Citizenship for job, school or sport applications.
Métis Status – this term is not recognized by the Provencal, Federal and Métis Governments in Canada. Instead Métis register with one of Métis National Council’s Governing Members in Canada are referred to as Citizens or Citizens of the Métis Nation.
The Métis Homeland – “Distinct Métis communities developed along the routes of the fur trade and across the Northwest within the Métis Nation Homeland. This Homeland includes the three Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta), as well as, parts of Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Northern United States.” – Métis National Council
The Nation Definition of Métis – “Métis” means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.” -Métis Nation Council
Powley – In 1993, Steve and Roddy Powley killed a moose. The resulting legal battle in the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Powley’s favor in September 2003. This ruling set out the components of a Métis definition for the purpose of claiming Aboriginal rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. These are: Self-identification as a member of a Métis community, Ancestral connection to the historic Métis community whose practices ground the right in question, and acceptance by the modern community with continuity to the historic Métis community.