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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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Enfranchisement Files

Enfranchisement was the voluntary or involuntary loss of Indian status. Very few enfranchisements took place before the First World War. After that war, many individuals decided to enfranchise to gain certain benefits, which varied over time according to changes in the Indian Act. Early major benefits were full Canadian citizenship and ownership of a parcel of reserve land. A later benefit was the one time payment of the individual's shares of band funds and annuities.

The enfranchisement clause was taken out of the Indian Act in 1985. Most files on this subject take the form of individual case files that can be searched by the names of individuals in the ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Files database. Inventory descriptions relating to enfranchisement can also be obtained from the ARCHIVED - General Inventory database using the keyword "enfranchisement" at the series and government records levels. Many of these documents have access restrictions.

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