This document was created by the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) to help individuals determine if they want to apply for MNO citizenship, to assist with the application process, and to address other questions frequently asked of the MNO Registry.
1) Should I apply for citizenship in the MNO?
This is an extremely personal decision. The MNO encourages all prospective applicants to review the MNO’s Statement of Prime Purpose before applying for citizenship in order to determine whether you agree with the MNO’s mandate, and whether you are a part of the distinct Aboriginal people the MNO represents in Ontario (i.e. the Métis Nation).
It is important for prospective applicants to realize that the MNO was not created to represent all individuals who claim to be “Métis.” It only represents individuals who are ancestrally connected to the Métis Nation, which has communities throughout much of Ontario and the rest of the Métis Nation Homeland. You must ancestrally connect to the Métis Nation. Simply having mixed First Nation and non-Aboriginal ancestry does not qualify you as an MNO citizen. You must have Métis ancestry connected to the Métis Nation.
Self-identification as Métis is not enough to obtain citizenship in the MNO. Applicants must provide reliable, documented proof that they meet the MNO’s definition of Métis. You may be requested to find and provide additional documentation if necessary. The MNO is not a “club” or “association.” The MNO Registry does not grant Métis citizenship simply because an individual completes the application forms and submits a fee.
2) What is the Métis Nation of Ontario’s definition of Métis?
According to MNO bylaws, Métis means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.
This definition is consistent with the Métis National Council’s National Definition for Citizenship. This same definition is followed by all other Métis Nation governments in the Homeland (Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation British Columbia).
3) Is there a generational cut-off where someone is no longer eligible to receive MNO citizenship?
No, there is no generational cut-off forMétis citizenship. The Métis Nation has long rejected the use of “blood quantum” to determine Métis citizenship. This position was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Powley (2003).
4) I have one ancestor who was identified as an Indian in the 1800s and they married a non-Aboriginal person. As such, I am mixed ancestry. Does this qualify me as a Métis citizen?
No. The MNO represents individuals who have Métis ancestry. It does not represent individuals who simply have mixed First Nations and non-Aboriginal ancestry.
Métis are a distinct people with their own language, culture, and traditions. Prior to Canada’s confederation, distinct Métis communities emerged in Ontario and the rest of the Métis Nation Homeland. The MNO represents the descendants of these Métis communities that are a part of the larger Métis Nation.
For additional information on what is required to ancestrally connect to the Métis Nation, please review the MNO’s Registry Policy.
5) I heard that the Métis Nation Homeland excludes Ontario and I must ancestrally connect to Western Métis to become a citizen. Is that true?
No. If you ancestrally connect to Métis in Ontario, you meet the requirements of the National Definition and the MNO definition for Métis citizenship.
Distinct Métis communities emerged in Ontario that were part of the historic Métis Nation and remain part of the Métis Nation today. For example, some of the well-known historic Métis communities that emerged in Ontario include interrelated settlements established around the Great Lakes and along the province’s trade and river routes. Just some of the historic settlements along the Great Lakes include Sault Ste. Marie, Michipicoten, Thunder Bay, Terrace Bay, Parry Sound, Penetanguishene/Midland, Lafontaine, and Kincardine. Similar settlements emerged along Ontario’s waterways, including Mattawa, North Bay, Sudbury, Chapleau, Nipigon, Atikokan, Fort Frances, Dryden, and Kenora.
Métis who were originally from Moose Factory moved into the James Bay and Temiscamingue regions and settled in locations such as Cochrane, Timmins, New Liskeard, and Temiskaming. Other unique settlements emerged throughout the province as a result of historic circumstances in Ontario (e.g. Burleigh Falls). These are only a few of the many settlements that form parts of historic and contemporary regional rights-bearing Métis communities throughout Ontario. This is not an exhaustive list of historic Métis settlements in Ontario; rather, they are meant to help applicants understand some of the locations of historic Métis communities in the province.
6) Should I just be looking in historic records for someone identified as “Métis”?
Not necessarily. MNO Policy does not require that the specific term “Métis” appear on a document. Métis ancestors are identified in the historic record in various ways. In Ontario, the term “Half breed” (HB) was most commonly used. Variations include French breed (FB), English breed (EB), Scotch breed (SB), or Other breed (OB). Other acceptable terms include, but are not limited to, chicot or bois-brulé.
7) Why do I have to sign an Oath of Allegiance?
As discussed above, the MNO was not created to represent all individuals who claim to be Métis. In 1993, the MNO raised the Métis Nation’s flag in Ontario and asked individuals who support the vision set out in the Statement of Prime Purpose to join. It was formed to represent the citizens of the Métis Nation and its communities in Ontario. The MNO remains committed to its Statement of Prime Purpose.
Signing this oath verifies that you are aware and agree to the Métis Nation of Ontario’s Statement of Prime Purpose and its mandate, rights-based agenda, and goals. If the MNO’s Statement of Prime Purpose does not reflect your goals or your identity as Métis, you may not want to join the MNO. Before signing the oath, individuals should personally reflect on whether joining the MNO is something that is right for them.
As well, signing the oath commits an individual to work in support of the MNO—not against it. If you hold a card with another Aboriginal organization, you are in conflict with the MNO’s bylaws, regulations, and policies. By signing the oath, you swear that you are not a registered Indian or a member of any other Aboriginal organization. It also indicates your acknowledgement that if you become a registered Indian or a member of any other Aboriginal organization in the future, you would remove yourself from the MNO Registry or could be removed by the MNO.
8) One of my family members already has an MNO citizenship card. Will it still take 60 days to process my application?
Yes. All applications are reviewed in order of submission. It would be unfair to other applicants if we put your application at the front of the line.
However, it is important to note that if your parent or grandparent is already a citizen with a complete file, you need only provide supporting documents that connect you to that person. You must still submit all other requirements.
9) Can I get an update on my relative’s file?
No. Due to Canadian privacy legislation, the MNO cannot share that information with anyone but the original applicant, unless a letter of permission is given to the MNO. The letter must state that we may discuss the applicant’s file with you and be signed and dated by the applicant.
10) How do I apply for citizenship?
You will need to complete an application, which includes:
- The Application Form where you provide your general information, initial requirements documents (including a recent photo, a copy of your baptism or long-form birth certificate which names your parents), and your Oath of Allegiance to the MNO.
- The Genealogy Chart where you note your family lineage, tracing your ancestry back to a Métis Ancestor, as defined above.
- The Supporting Documents where you provide your official church or civic documents that link each successive generation in your lineage, going back to your Métis Ancestor. There’s more information about this below.
11) Where do I get an application form?
Application forms are available on our website or by contacting the MNO Registry Office.
Toll Free: 1-800-798-1006
Ottawa Region: 1-613-798-1006
12) How do I get my baptism certificate?
Contact the church where you were baptized and request a copy. If you cannot find one there, contact the area diocese and they can direct you. There may be a modest fee for a copy.
13) What is a long-form birth certificate and how do I get one?
Your long-form birth certificate is a certified copy of your birth registration with detailed information that identifies the names of your parents. You can order a copy from the office of Vital Statistics in the province or territory where you were born.
14) What is a genealogical chart?
A genealogical chart, or family tree, is a diagram that links you to your ancestors. This chart chronologically identifies and links you to a Métis ancestor. Please complete the chart with as much relevant information as you have. You may obtain a copy of the Genealogical Chart online or by contacting the Registry.
It is important to note that a genealogical chart is not all that is required. You must provide documented proof that each generation in your chart links to the next. Simply completing a genealogical chart with no supporting documentation is insufficient.
15) Why do I have to fill out a genealogical chart?
Each applicant is required to complete a genealogical chart, beginning with themselves. This chart ensures accuracy in your family tree and properly identifies your lineage and Métis ancestors. The genealogical chart and supporting documents are used to verify your lineage and, as such, verify your eligibility for MNO citizenship.
16) What is lineage?
Lineage is the kinship relation between you and your ancestors. This is commonly known as your family tree.
17) What is a valid supporting document?
All applicants must provide documentation linking each generation in your lineage to the next, all the way back to your Métis ancestor. For example, your long-form birth certificate would link you to your parents, your parent’s birth certificate would link them to their parents, and so on. This would continue for each generation up to your documented Métis ancestor to demonstrate the connection from yourself to them.
Valid documents are any official civic or church records. Acceptable supporting documents include:
- Long-form birth certificates
- Baptism certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Census records
- Published obituaries or death certificates
- Indian Affairs records pertaining to Métis
- Fur trade records (e.g. Hudson’s Bay Company journals)
- Métis land scrip (Western Canada)
18) Where can I find supporting documents?
Please visit the Métis Nation of Ontario’s Resources for Applicants page for information on where to obtain genealogical documents.
19) Will the MNO Registry help me with my genealogical research?
Unfortunately, the MNO does not have the staff and resources available to assist applicants with genealogical research. However, we can direct you to available resources and encourage you to visit our Resources for Applicants page.
1) What does my new citizenship card entitle me to?
- Proof of citizenship with the Métis Nation
- Access to all MNO programs and services, including education, training, housing, health, economic development, etc.
- Ability to participate in MNO activities, including community meetings and cultural events
- Voting privileges in MNO elections and Annual General Assemblies
- Ability to run and hold office within MNO governance structures (e.g. MNO Community Councils, Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario, etc.)
- Ability to apply for an MNO Harvesters Card (if you connect to a Verified Métis Family Line)
- The Métis Voyageur newsletter and communication on other MNO updates
2) Can an MNO citizenship card be used for a tax exemption?
No. Métis are not presently exempt from paying provincial or federal taxes. You should not attempt to use an MNO citizenship card for this purpose. If you do, you will be personally liable for any legal consequences.
3) Does my MNO citizenship card expire?
Yes, your card will need to be updated with a new photo five years after the date of issue; the expiry date is listed on your new card. If you move or change your name, you should update your contact information with the MNO Registry.
4) I lost my citizenship card. What should I do?
The MNO Registry can issue you a replacement card. You can fill out the Request for Replacement Card form online or contact the Registry to request that a copy be mailed to you.
5) I’ve moved. What should I do?
Complete a Change of Address form to update your information, provide proof of residency (e.g. Ontario Photo Card, driver’s license) if you are over 18, and mail or email it to the MNO Registry.
6) I have legally changed my name. What should I do?
You must complete a Request for Replacement Card form and provide a document that proves your name change – for example, a copy of your marriage certificate and/or a change of name certificate.
7) Can I transfer my citizenship from one province to another?
No. At this time, the Métis Nation registries across the Métis Nation Homeland do not have a standard procedure for individuals who move between provinces. If you wish to obtain citizenship in a new province, you must submit a full application in that province. However, it may be helpful to request your file from the Registry you were previously registered with to provide to your new Provincial registry.
8) How can I get involved with the MNO, meet other Métis, and attend events in my community?
Visit the MNO’s website to learn about upcoming events, read the Métis Voyageur, visit your local MNO office, attend community council meetings, or contact the Métis Community Council closest to you.
9) When can I apply for a harvest certificate?
If you qualify for a harvester certificate, you can apply AFTER you have received your MNO citizenship number. For more information, visit our Harvesting page.
10) How do I apply for a Harvester Certificate?
MNO citizens must trace to a root ancestor from one of the MNO’s Verified Métis Family Lines in order to be eligible for Harvesting rights. These families are outlined here:
Harvesting Applications should be signed by your Captain of the Hunt. Please request their signature or advise MNO Registry and we can do this for you.
Once you submit your application to your Captain of the Hunt, s/he signs it and sends it directly to us for processing. Harvesting Applications will be processed within 30 days of being received by the MNO Registry Office.
Please contact the MNO Registry if you are unsure whether you currently trace to a Verified Métis Family Line, or want to learn more. For more information on how to complete your application please refer to the Harvester section of the MNO website.
11) What are my rights as a Harvester?
Updated: November 4, 2021