Cover Image for It was ALL sent back to me, telling me to resubmit: Status Card Applications & Barriers to Indigenous Rights

It was ALL sent back to me, telling me to resubmit: Status Card Applications & Barriers to Indigenous Rights

Avneet Takhar

4 min read


lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) Traditional Territory, of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations (Greater Victoria, B.C), September 27, 2023:

When First Nations peoples receive status card support, (OneFeather) data reveals that there’s a 98% success rate. Without it, they could be waiting up to 2-5 years to get access to their entitlements.

The report, entitled "It was ALL sent back to me, telling me to resubmit: Status Card Applications & Barriers to Indigenous Rights" has been created in response to recognizing and investigating the oppressive measures that First Nations folks encounter, when applying for an identity document that unlocks their legal rights; and exists to provide recommendations to reduce the challenging process to better serve them.

Report available here.

Status card renewal/replacement applications get started here, with help guide.

This study came to be, in rise of internal memos found at Indigenous Services Canada and reported on by The Globe and Mail, whereby the Government of Canada admit their complex process which can be perceived as a form of systemic racism, and acknowledge OneFeather's online support service to be an easier option for status card renewals.

The official government memo reads:

"OneFeather's existence implies that people need help to apply and reinforces the idea that government is too complex, perhaps intentionally so."

And it continues:

"Why can't we offer the same service OneFeather does?"

Lawrence Lewis, Founder at OneFeather explains:

"We wanted to deliver a new, easy online solution accessible from any smart device anywhere to replace the current antiquated, and agonizing colonial systems and processes."

The report findings show the struggles that First Nations individuals come up against when attempting to access their rights, and detrimental effects it has on their quality of life when support isn't readily available, versus the difference it makes when it is.

Delaney Barlow, Customer Experience Lead at OneFeather states:

“We often hear from our clients that they have already submitted a paper application to ISC (Indigenous Services Canada) and have yet to hear back after a long waiting period - at minimum anywhere from 3 months up to a year. 

The most common emotion our clients express to us when their application is completed using our online service is: relief.”

"By reviewing the official documents from Government of Canada that outline systemic issues, and the data and experiences of status card applicants- we're identifying ways to better serve First Nations folks in removing obstacles, so they can receive what is legally, and rightfully theirs," says Avneet Takhar, the report’s author and member of the OneFeather team (* a settler and guest living on the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples).

* Processing times for status card applications can vary according to Indigenous Services Canada. The report relays the wait times calculated during 2023.

About OneFeather

OneFeather is an Indigenous technology company founded by Lawrence Lewis (We Wai Kai Nation). 

Planting seeds of sovereignty in the digital era; they are redefining the Indigenous experience through innovation & tradition, and help provide peoples with safe, barrier free access to their rights and entitlements.

For more information:

Media Contact

Avneet Takhar, OneFeather Marketing Manager:

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