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Benefits of a Metis Status Cardwhat are the benefits of having getting a Metis Indian Native American Aboriginal Status Card omfrc Cards government recognized issued rights representation organizations application Ontario who qualifies as Metis qualifications who is are
Many people who are looking for their Metis status card end up calling us out of frustration, so we have put the following common questions and answers that every person applying should know --
Q. I got a card from another organization but they didn't give me any results so I don't know who my native ancestors are.
A. Before you apply to any group or ask for any research, make sure you know what they will give you for results. Some groups might advertise they find your results but read the words carefully, as they might not actually provide anything back to you.
Our goal is to share information so you know which side of your family has Native blood and can also share this with your cousins. Yes, we actually do help you find your Native ancestors with actual records we send you. No other group does this.
Contrary to what other groups claim, most ancestral records are not part of the "privacy act" and can be shared. If you're reading that they can't give you info due to the privacy act, this is only partly true. Giving ancestral records that are before a certain time period is not only legal, it is the same as any other genealogist's results you would get if you hired someone to do your tree.
Not only that, but the privacy act includes a clause that states it does not apply to aboriginal groups for the purpose of making a claim, and that would include claiming Native American ancestry for the purpose of obtaining registration.
Q. I applied for a card with another group but I don't know how I got my card.
A. Perhaps ask yourself these questions before handing your money to anyone -- If you were applying for a passport, would they give you one if you didn't have to prove you are the person applying? Did that group require your birth certificate? Did they ask you to prove you are a blood relative of the person they did a search on, by asking for birth and marriage records for each person in that line? Do you think you would be identified as truly Metis if you didn't supply this information to get your card?
If you were not required to do this, then how many other people were also not required to do this, within the same group? A group that does not ask for proof does not have a solid registry, so their card means nothing.
All groups are different, and do not share information. They are not connected to each other. They do not share databases and they do not share funding, so if you apply to the wrong one, you will not get your money back. You need to find out which group to apply to before you send any money.
Q. I applied to the wrong group and they refused me. Why can't I just be accepted into the right group when I apply?
A. Because there are different organizations that represent different types of Metis, depending on your ancestry and culture, you need to apply to the group that fits your line. If you have applied to the wrong group, you will not be refunded the application fee as it covers the time to check your application. Groups do not share information so they will not transfer it to another group. You might still be able to get Metis Status with another group, depending on what proof you have so it's better to know which to apply to beforehand.
More and more, people are applying for and getting their Metis Status card.
Our research team helps in finding your native american ancestors and can do a search of our records for your native line for a minimum fee.
Ours is the ONLY organization that provides the results of this search so you know who your ancestors are and can share this information with your family. You can also know which tribe you descend from if that information is available. Our researchers each have extensive experience with genealogy, old script, and can speak and read French.
Call for any questions or if you need assistance with application.
Our Status cards are professionally printed on pvc plastic, and have a special security watermark coating on the top clear layer so that they cannot be forged. (They are not laminated, they are thick plastic like the health card or driver's license card).
Besides giving you all the records and information we find, the back of the card also has QR codes that contain your native ancestral line and a description of the proof that is in our registry. This makes it handy for you to share with others in the family, and if anyone wants to verify your proof themselves, they can do this using the QR code information.
Benefits of Metis Status
Getting Metis Status is a way of showing pride for your ancestors and their hard work in the beginning of the first economy of North America, that of the fur trade.
Metis Status gives access and fellowship to our extended kinship community, and without membership, Metis communities will not get funding.
Getting a card with the organization that represents your type of ancestry is not like being in a club, it's about being part of a family and community.
Getting a Metis Status card with Communities of the Voyageur Metis means your genealogy has been verified to be true and accurate. It is proof that you actually are "part Native". Which card you have describes the cultural community you belong to, so a card with Communities of the Voyageur means your cultural community is that of French Canadian Metis of the Great Lakes historic communities. Our registry is completely documented, and there are no holes in it. Other registries might be easier to join, but if they do not require you to provide your own birth or baptism records, then their registry is not complete, so you need to ask them if they require this proof before paying them anything.
Any group that does not have a solidly proven registry will not get funding from government nor represent your rights. If you pay to have your native line searched, find out about the results they will give you before paying anything. We are the only group that will provide you with any genealogical details we discover about your Native ancestors, including tribal or fur trade information if we have it, and we will send you the actual records we find that completely document your line up to the information you provide us about yourself and living persons, (which is not available to us except from you). If your own birth was not given to the registry, then your line is not completely proven nor documented. To prove a Metis ancestry, each record must name the parents of the person in the record, and each generation must have its records to link to the previous one, including yourself and anyone else applying.
Representation and Rights
Some groups might seek harvesting, hunting or fishing rights, or even the right to harvest plant material. Rights are determined by agreements signed between the government and the organization. There are many different organizations that represent many different groups of Metis. Being Metis or having a card does not entitle you to automatic rights, since some groups do not negotiate for rights.
We do not know what the future holds for anyone. Having Metis Status with a particular organization might mean your community has negotiation of rights -- for now, and for the future. Some organizations do not have any intention to seek funding nor represent you, so it's best to ask before you apply. Groups do not share databases, nor funding, nor resources, so application to the wrong group is not transferrable to another group.
Social programs are varied and can include health programs, health studies for particular hereditary diseases, cultural learning programs, assistance programs, cultural and heritage workshops, improvement incentives, work programs, help with housing, family programs (baby wellness, family counselling, etc) preservation of heritage and culture, etc. Funding for programs depends on agreements with Canadian government and the numbers of registered members of an organization.
Native Americans have traditionally had a lower number of high school, college and university graduates than the average population. Native Americans have traditionally been under-represented in the labor force. Native Americans are the fastest growing population. The government now understands that they will need training as they will be a major pool for the labor force in the future, so they are encouraging educational institutions to make accommodation for aboriginal persons, whether they be First Nations, Inuit, or Metis.
Having a Metis Status card can help secure a place in a college or university. Considering that Metis families' ancestors helped to build the economy of this continent, and then had to hide their identity for generations or have rights taken away, and considering that these Native ancestors' hard work has never been properly recorded nor recognized, and considering that Metis families often changed their names and hid their identity to get jobs, it's time the Metis become more represented in colleges and universities.
There are also scholarships and bursaries that Metis can apply for. Application for such funding should be based on genuine need, as there are so many Metis families with lack of resources for education.
Major corporations usually have policy in place that encourages hiring from the 4 groups of people most under-represented in the workplace in Canada -- visible minorities, handicapped persons, aboriginal persons and women. Aboriginal persons under the Canadian Constitution Act include First Nations, Inuit and Metis. Whether this helps or not with workplace is debatable and depends on the circumstances.
We Pay Taxes
All Metis persons pay taxes, just like nearly everyone else in the country. Will there ever be change to that? Who knows.
Describing themselves as "French Canadian" has been the PC way of saying French and Native. Although their culture is Metis, there is still so much misunderstanding and old hollywood stereotyping of what it means to be aboriginal. And so many Metis feel unworthy to claim it because they think they need to learn and become culturally First Nations, but that is not true. Metis culture is no more like First Nations culture than being Filipino would make someone Chinese. And there are as many types of Metis culture as there are communities where the Metis have lived.
Only when the numbers of Metis persons get their Metis Status Card, will representative organizations be able to negotiate on their behalf. If the Metis want their tax money to work for their interests, then they need to register with their appropriate organization. Only by finding our Native ancestors will we begin to realize how many people in the small French Canadian towns and villages are Metis who have been hiding that part of their identity for generations.
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