First Nations claims research, guidelines for informal access to records
Members of the Canadian public can access records from the Government of Canada through an informal request for the type of information which can generally be disclosed within the normal administrative practices of the department.
On this page
Process for accessing records
Before a request for records can be made, approval must be obtained in a letter authorized by the Director of Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP). To obtain approval and ensure the protection of personal information held in records, the researcher should complete and send ATIP 8(2)(k) form, Request for Personal Information by Native Claims Researchers PDF format (1.5 Kb 1 page) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once a signed authorization letter is obtained from the Director of ATIP, the researcher may then send a request for departmental records to the CIRNAC and ISC Ministerial and Archival Research office, email@example.com .
Requests to access historical records under the care and control of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) should be made directly through LAC Reference Services by telephone.
What to bring when accessing records
To access their requested records, the researcher must present:
- a letter indicating the requested subjects which clearly specify the nature and timeline of the research
- a Band Council Resolution (BCR) or a letter authorizing that person to conduct research and to have access to files pertaining to the First Nation's or Inuit Association's claims research. The BCR or letter should contain:
- the researcher's name or organization
- the reserve, the band and the province or territory
- the signature of the chief and council (in a quorum)
What to know when making a request
- Most departmental files are kept in off-site storage. To ensure departmental staff has the opportunity to retrieve and review material prior to its release, please allow 4 to 6 weeks' notice when requesting files. The Records Office will contact the researcher should the review process take longer than the anticipated 6 weeks
- If applicable, the Records Office will communicate the file listing of requested records
- National Capital Region's Records Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00p.m. EST
- This may vary within each region
- The copying of documentation from departmental files is the responsibility of the researcher unless other arrangements have been made
- A work area will be provided to researchers for the examination of departmental files
Please provide the name of the region you are referring to in the subject line of your communications.
- Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Indigenous Services Canada
- CIRNAC and ISC Ministerial Records and Archival Research
- Departmental Library reference desk
- Public Enquiries Contact Centre Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Indigenous Services Canada
- Reference Services Library and Archives Canada