For immediate release
January 26, 2021
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is announcing that its Thompson sub-office is now providing assistance in obtaining secure status cards. There is no cost to access this service.
MKO partnered with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to ensure that Northern residents have improved access in obtaining their Treaty status cards, as some may not have the means to travel to Winnipeg to get an appointment.
“MKO securing this service for Northern First Nation citizens stems from the success of the MKO, Keewatin Tribal Council, and ISC partnership, where a temporary mobile unit was set up at the Thompson Regional Community Centre to give Northern residents the opportunity to apply for their status cards. The mobile unit was a huge success with over 2000 applications sent in,” shared MKO’s Executive Director Kelvin Lynxleg.
MKO Status Identification Intake Clerks have completed the training necessary to be designated as a trusted source. They are authorized to handle personal information and applications. MKO has staff available to help fill out forms, take the proper photo, and send the completed applications to ISC’s headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec. Staff are also able to assist members in retrieving their Treaty card number as well as applying for status numbers for eligible applicants.
“Providing Northern residents with easier access to obtaining these cards or to finding out their status number is extremely beneficial. It helps them exercise their Treaty rights,” shared Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “People need and use their status cards for travel, for photo identification, to carry out their banking, and to help them with employment.”
“We have all heard the stories about how difficult it is for people to get an appointment at the Indigenous Services Canada office in Winnipeg,” said Grand Chief Settee. “Having our own office open for appointments helps tremendously. It is now accessible for anyone who needs help to come in and get assistance filling out the proper forms. Taking photos free of charge also makes a big difference as it is expensive to get a passport photo done at a cost of over $24 per person.”
Appointments take place at MKO’s office at 55 Selkirk Avenue in Thompson. To book an appointment, call 204-939-4330 or email: [email protected].