New registry launched to combat fake Métis ID cards
Saskatchewan's Métis community is launching a new registry system to address issues about reliable identification documents.
The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan plans to issue secure identity cards to people who can show their link to the community.
Alan Morin, vice-president of MN-S, told CBC News that one of the objectives is to finally determine the actual numbers of Métis in the province.
He said the organization wants that to be based on a reliable database.
"What we're putting together, under the registry process, is an objectively verifiable process," Morin said. "Why were putting together that process is to identify our people, our citizenship."
People who register will need supporting documents, such as a birth certificate or baptismal record. The material could also include a document that resembles a family tree.
Some Métis have expressed support for the registry, noting that it could weed out people who have self-identified as Métis in order to access benefits.
Mike Tanton, a Métis man from Saskatoon, told CBC News the new registry should follow a rigorous verification process.
"I think if we are going to do something in terms of handing out new cards and doing a registry, that we need to do it right and to make sure we are following a lot of the guidelines," Tanton told CBC News.
"So that this is actually legitimate ID that is accepted not only by our [Métis ]government, but by the governments out there and stuff too."
The MN-S said they hope to work with the provincial vital statistics division and the federal Indian Affairs ministry, to find supporting documentation.
The organization has also offered to pay the fees for acquiring government records.
They said the Métis cards will have bar codes and contain more detail than cards of the past.
The old status card was often criticized for being easily forged.