Why is it important that you self-identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit?
Criminal Code, Youth Criminal Justice Act and Child, Youth and Family Services Act all have parts that consider the special legal status of Aboriginal people in Canada.
If you self-identify as Aboriginal, your lawyer can make sure that Gladue factors and principles are applied to your legal case. Gladue refers to a right that all Aboriginal people have under the Criminal Code.
Telling your lawyer you are Aboriginal means that you can also be referred to Aboriginal Community Justice Programs or other Aboriginal service providers if they are available in your area, and if you are interested in these programs.
Information on your background allows your lawyer to assess whether the Indian Act affects your legal matter. For example, if you live on-reserve your rights to property you owned in marriage may be different than non-Aboriginal people in Ontario.