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Many individuals do genealogical research to determine whether they have an Indigenous branch in their family tree. For some, this is simply to confirm or disprove a family story. For others, the research is connected to self-identity, empowerment, possible registration in Indigenous organizations or funding connected to self-identification.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) cannot make any determination about whether you are Indigenous, but our documents can assist in your research.
Sadly, sometimes, our family stories are just that—stories. Likewise, family photographs may lead us to make false assumptions. Are we seeing something that is not really there?
You might find the answer in census returns.
Identifying First Nation, Métis or Inuit in historical census returns
Seeking an understanding of Indigenous identity through family histories and genealogical research can be a challenging task in Canada. Two systems of definitions exist—one based in law and legislation, the other in family tradition and community practice. Continue reading