People who are identified as Non-Status Indians in Canada are individuals who are not considered as Registered Indians because either they or their ancestors were refused or lost their Indian status through the mechanisms of the Indian Act, and who do not identify as being Métis. The mechanism by which people lost their status was “enfranchisement.” The most common method of enfranchisement was through intermarriage, whereby a Status Indian woman marrying a non-Indian man lost her Indian status—as did her children; this law existed until the Indian Act was amended in 1985. Other ways in which individuals could be enfranchised was by obtaining the federal right to vote (until 1960), feeing simple title to land, or receiving a university degree (until 1951). Prior to 1976 there was little political representation at the provincial level for Non-Status Indians in Saskatchewan. Beginning in 1976, the Métis Society of Saskatchewan partnered with Non-Status Indians in the province and formed the Association of Métis and Non-Status Indians of Saskatchewan. In 1988 the organization returned to a Métis-only political institution as a result of the recognition of the Métis in the Canadian Constitution. Nationally, Non-Status Indians were first represented in 1971 by the Native Council of Canada, now known as the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples; there is currently no territorial affiliate in Saskatchewan.

Rob Nestor

Further Reading

Frideres, J. S. and R. Gagacz. 2004. Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Toronto: Prentice Hall.