THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government have announced the permanent waiver of fees associated with death records and the process of reclaiming traditional Indigenous names. This initiative aims to ease the financial and administrative burden on Indigenous communities and individuals affected by the Indian Residential Schools system.
Financial Relief for Indigenous Communities
Todd McCarthy, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery, acknowledges the enduring impact of Indian Residential Schools on Indigenous communities. He emphasized the government’s commitment to reconciliation, stating that the initiative is a step towards making vital records and services more accessible and affordable for Indigenous peoples.
“The tragic legacy of Indian Residential Schools continues to be a source of pain and suffering within Indigenous communities,” said Todd McCarthy, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery. “Our government is committed to advancing reconciliation and making it easier and more affordable for Indigenous people to access records and services.”
Streamlined Process for Death Records
The government has introduced a simplified, one-window process for locating death records of children who attended Indian Residential Schools in Ontario. This eliminates the need for multiple requests across different offices, reducing the complexity and emotional burden for families seeking this information. Fees for death registration searches, death certificates, and certified copies of death registrations, as well as for delayed death registrations for Indian Residential School attendees, have been permanently waived.
Supporting Traditional Name Reclamation
The fee waiver also extends to Indian Residential School survivors and their families looking to reclaim their traditional names. This move recognizes the cultural importance of names and supports individuals in restoring their Indigenous identity. The waiver applies to those seeking to change to a single name in line with their traditional culture.
Fees are also being permanently waived for Indian Residential School survivors and their families to reclaim a traditional name through a change of name, and Indigenous peoples seeking to change their name to a single name if it is in accordance with their traditional culture. “Our government has heard from Indigenous partners and leadership, and by introducing permanent measures, we are improving access to provincial services and programs,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to making reconciliation real for First Nation communities by taking meaningful action to ensure supports are available at every step of their journey towards healing.”
Expanding Access to Government Services
Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford highlighted that these changes reflect the government’s responsiveness to Indigenous communities’ needs. These efforts complement existing initiatives like the North Shore Tribal Council Indigenous-led ServiceOntario centre and other remote service options, ensuring broader access to government services.
- Over 55 services are available online at any time.
- ServiceOntario completes around 59 million transactions annually.
- Renewal reminders for important products can be set up at Ontario.ca/Reminders or by calling ServiceOntario.