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Researching Your Aboriginal Ancestry at Library and Archives Canada

Part I: Researching Your Aboriginal Genealogy at Library and Archives Canada

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RG 10 Records of Particular Interest

Although genealogical information can be found in almost every series of RG 10 fonds, some subjects and series are more likely than others to produce fruitful results in a search for information on aboriginal ancestors. These are described below.

The Indian Registers, 1951-1984

In 1951, the federal government created the first national register of every known individual entitled to Indian status under the Indian Act. This register is currently maintained in a computerized format by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.

From the date of its establishment, this register has been the single most comprehensive record of status Indians. If your aboriginal ancestor was alive in 1951 and had Indian status then, or was born since 1951 with Indian status, or acquired Indian status since 1951, then this register will include him or her.

A paper copy of the Indian Registers, 1951-1984 is located at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. The registers record the names of all status Indians and contain information on vital events, membership, familial relationships (parents, marriages and children), date of birth, religion, band number and, occasionally, occupation. Finding aid (FA) 10 94 is a computerized file list of the Indian registers that can be searched by band at Library and Archives Canada in the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database as explained in Part II of this guide. The file descriptions often refer to the registers as books, which are arranged in the alphabetical order of the names of the band and band members (e.g., Book 242 - Saugeen Band 123 (A-J), Book 243 - Saugeen Band 123 (K-P), etc.).

These documents have access restrictions. Because the registers constitute an operational record currently maintained by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, the general public should direct their inquiries there. Researchers from that department are advised to contact their records managers.

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