For immediate release
December 21, 2021
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. has reached its goal of helping 2500 First Nations citizens apply for their secure status cards in 2021. MKO launched this service, which operates out of its Thompson sub-office, in late January 2021.
MKO partnered with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to ensure that Northern residents have improved access in obtaining their Treaty status cards, as some do not have the means to travel to Winnipeg to get an appointment. There is no cost to access this service.
“I am extremely proud of our small, dedicated team that has provided service to 2500 citizens from various First Nations to help them apply for their secure status cards,” said MKO’s Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “Having access to identification is absolutely necessary, especially now with the need to show government-issued ID along with one’s proof of vaccine. Many of us know it’s challenging to get a status card, so I’m grateful for the staff at MKO who have worked diligently to remove barriers to citizens who are trying to get a piece of government-issued ID.”
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 complete 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.
“Our team is small but mighty,” shared Gina Spence, Senior SCIC Status Card Intake Clerk. “Our team has travelled to Norway House Cree Nation, Tataskweyak Cree Nation, and Winnipeg to hold pop-up clinics, where we helped people apply for their status cards. We also hosted an event specifically for youth in Thompson. Providing Northern residents with easier access to obtaining their status cards is extremely beneficial as many of the people we meet don’t even have any identification. It is difficult to access benefits or exercise Treaty rights when you don’t have your status number or status card. I’m proud to be part of the team helping people to obtain their secure status cards.”
Appointments take place at MKO’s office at 55 Selkirk Avenue in Thompson.
To book an appointment for the new year, call 204-677-1600 or toll free at 1-800-442-0488 or via email: [email protected]