Ontario Making it Easier and More Affordable for Indigenous Communities to Access Vital Government Services

Province permanently waiving fees for death records and applications to reclaim a traditional name

Todd McCarthy, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing financial relief for Indigenous peoples and communities by permanently waiving fees for death records and delayed registration of death for children who attended Indian Residential Schools. The province is also permanently eliminating fees for reclaiming a traditional Indigenous name.

“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.”

Ontario is providing a streamlined process to reduce the burden for Indigenous communities, organizations, and family members trying to locate death records for children who attended Indian Residential Schools in Ontario. There is now a one-window process that eliminates the need to request death searches from two offices — the Archives of Ontario and ServiceOntario’s Office of the Registrar General.

As part of this process, fees are being permanently waived for death registration searches, death certificates, and certified copies of death registrations. Fees are also being waived to register a delayed registration of death for children who attended Indian Residential Schools. These permanent fee waivers provide ongoing financial relief for impacted Indigenous communities and families during an already difficult time.

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.”

These changes build on recent initiatives that provide easier access to government services in remote and Indigenous communities, including the North Shore Tribal Council Indigenous-led ServiceOntario centre that also operates a mobile service unit within the Robinson-Huron Treaty area, the Pickle Lake municipal-led ServiceOntario centre, and the virtual service for health card renewal available at Ontario.ca/VirtualAppointment.

Quick Facts

  • More than 55 services are available online any time, any day.
  • ServiceOntario completes 59 million transactions annually, connecting people, families, and businesses with government services in person, online and by phone.
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SOURCE Province of Ontario

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