Indigenous people wanting to reclaim their Indigenous name will no longer have to pay for criminal record checks and fingerprinting through police departments, which is part of the process.
On Tuesday, September 26th, the Taber Police Service shared the news along with the announcement from the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police. The move is said to recognize the historical trauma and “acknowledge the living trauma of the Survivors of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop.” The decision also supports number 17 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action report recommendation.
“17. We call upon all levels of government to enable residential school/ Survivors and their families to reclaim names changed by the residential school system by waiving administrative costs for a period of five years for the name-change process and the revision of official identity documents, such as birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, health cards, status cards, and social insurance numbers.”
The name change move applies not only to the survivors but also to the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and spouses or partners of residential school and Sixties Scoop Survivors. The provincial government also waives the name change application fee for survivors wishing to reclaim their indigenous name.
“The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police is committed to working collectively with policing agencies and Indigenous people across the province on a path toward reconciliation. This work is ongoing and will strive towards restoring trust and confidence in policing among Indigenous people and in communities across the province.”
According to the AACP Policing with Indigenous Peoples Committee, the waiver of fees will take effect immediately.