If you thought it was hard to renew your expired Indian Status Card in the past, it has now become impossible in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Indigenous Services Canada, all ISC offices for Indian status and secure status card applications are closed until further notice. Processing times, including return of original documents, are delayed.
In keeping with social isolation guidelines, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council offices have been closed since March 23 and no status cards have been issued since.
Because it is impossible for people to renew their status cards during the pandemic, ISC is recommends during this time that service providers should accept status cards or Temporary Confirmation of Registration Documents (TCRDs), with identification, even if the renewal or expiry date has passed until offices re-open.
“ISC will be reaffirming to businesses and service providers that Indian status does not expire, and that the registration number provided on these documents remains the same and is what is required to confirm eligibility for programs and services,” reads a written statement from the regional ISC office.
Rosie Marsden is the Indian registry administrator at the NTC main office in Port Alberni. She administers the Indian Registry Program on behalf of Indigenous Services Canada as per policy for Ehattesaht, Hesquiaht, Hupacasath, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h', Mowachaht/Muchalaht, Nuchatlaht, Tseshaht and Uchucklesaht. Marsden did not have information on when she will resume services to members, however, she knows that when this happens it will be appointment only.
In preparation for staff returning to the office, the NTC is implementing protective measures to prevent transmission of viruses and germs. Part of the plan includes continued social distancing.
Marsden will be spacing her client’s appointments 30 minutes apart so that she can have time to sanitize her workspace in preparation for the next client. This will prevent a backlog of people waiting outside.