Non-status Indian

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In Canada, a non-status Indian is a legal term referring to any First Nations individual who for whatever reason is not registered with the federal government, or is not registered to a band which signed a treaty with the Crown.

For several decades, status Indian women automatically became non-status if they married men who were not status Indians.

Prior to 1955, a status Indian could lose their status and become non-status through enfranchisement (voluntarily giving up status, usually for a minimal cash payment), by obtaining a college degree or becoming an ordained minister.

The 2013 Federal Court case Daniels v. Canada established that non-status Indians (and Métis) have the same aboriginal rights as status people, in that they are encompassed in the 1867 Constitution Act's language about "Indians".[1]

However, the 2014 Federal Court of Appeal decision "Canada v Daniels" overturned that verdict.[2]

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld that verdict. As a result, the federal government has jurisdiction and fiduciary duty over status Indians, non-status Indians, and Metis alike.[3]