FNMI in the 1901 Canada Census

Canada Census, 1901 includes two columns which are unique to other Canadian censuses. They are colour (column 5) which only appears in this census and for Ethnicity (column 11) which contains unique answer options.

Library and Archives Canada defines the colour column as follows.

“…the letter "w" or “b” for white, "r" for red (Indigenous peoples), "b" or “n” for black (Black Canadians), "y" or “j” for yellow (individuals of Asian descent). Individuals of mixed heritage were designated by their relevant non-white race.”[1]

The ethnicity listed in column 11 is the same for other censuses if the ancestry is from Europe or Asia but unique for the FNMI Peoples, and is different for each of the Peoples. 

First Nation
The First Nation people have an "r" in the colour column, and an r in the Ethnicity field as well. It does not say Cree,  Iroquois, Chipewyan, Algonquin or any other nation, just the letter "r".

Metis are those who have an ancestry couple where one spouse was First Nation and the other is European. French was the most Metis ancestry. Metis people are designated as R in the colour field. In the ethnicity column, they are designated as follows. The first table is English. The second table is French. [2]

Fb French Breed
Eb English Breed
Sb Scottish Breed
Ib Irish Breed
Ob Other breed

m.f. métis français, French breed
m.a. métis anglais, English breed
m.e. métis écossais, Scottish breed
m.i. métis irlandais, Irish breed
a.r. autre race/métissage, other breed

The Inuit are designated as R in the colour field. In the ethnicity column they are identified as Eskimo. That term is no longer used. For more information, read my blog post FNMI The Indigenous Peoples of Canada at https://ifamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2023/11/fnmi-indigenous-peoples-of-canada.html.

These are Racial or Tribal Origin. Inuit are found in the Unorganized Territories, District 206. These are records are found only at:  http://automatedgenealogy.com/census/District.jsp?id=206

  • Sub-district c, Keewatin
  • Sub-district d, Mackenzie
  • Sub-district e, Ungava
The following page is results from the Keewatin sub-district.

Territories Search page by area
Yukon results do not appear on Ancestry, FamilySearch, or Library and Archives Canada. 

Library and Archives Canada website has a Inuit genealogy page which includes Census Records at https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/collection/research-help/indigenous-heritage/Pages/inuit-genealogy.aspx.

The search page for this census is found at the following websites

  • Library and Archives Canada https://recherche-collection-search.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/Census/Index
  • Ancestry  https://www.ancestry.ca/search/collections/8826/
  • FamilySearch  https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1584557

[1] Library and Archives Canada, Dominion of Canada, 1871 to 1931, Census of Canada, 1901, https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/collection/research-help/genealogy-family-history/censuses/Pages/dominion-canada.aspx#1901, accessed Nov 2023.

[2] Library and Archives Canada, General census guide, Other abbreviations, https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/collection/research-help/genealogy-family-history/censuses/Pages/census-records.aspx, accessed Nov 2023.

Red River Ancestry website

If you are Métis you need to check out this site for your ancestors. If you are not Métis, you might want to check out this website because it is well organized with amazing information. If you are thinking of, or trying to, create a family website, I suggest you check this out. This site is also what every genealogists wants to find. 

A friend told me about an ancestor of hers who stood out, who she wanted to get to know more. She asked me if I had anyone that has stood out over the years. I do. She is a several great Aunt of mine. Not my direct line but someone I always remember. 

My friend, Tracey, has given me permission to share what found about her family. 

After telling me what she knew about this lady, Tracey asked me if I could find out more about her. Tracey is Métis so I went to the Red River Ancestry website to see if her (a few greats) grandmother was on the site. This is what I found. I have given explanations of each part of the website along the way. 

The link to the website is: https://www.redriverancestry.ca/ 

Red River Ancestry website Home page
The main page begins by welcoming everyone and stating the purpose of the website. The site “is devoted to descendants of early explorers, fur traders and settlers who first inhabited the great Northwest Territory or Rupert’s Land, and more particularly the region of the Red River of the North.”

Below is the top menu, which appears on every page for easy access. 

Ancestor Index
To find an ancestor, click on Ancestor Index. This is an alphabetical list of the husbands of the couples. Their name is the hyperlink to go to their individual couples page.  

I scrolled down to the Flett listing. Only 4 of them. 
Catherine Flett is not one of them. Our hope was that she is a child of one of these men. Her father is John Flett, but not John Alfred Flett, as far as she knew. 

There are two ways I could look for her. 

1. I could look at each family. Since there are only 4 that doesn't take too long. But if there were more I wouldn't want to look at each one individually. 

2. Instead, I could use the SITE command in Google to search for Catherine Flett just in this website. This is good as it will list any page that Catherine Flett appears. This is a good idea to search for anyone in a website. 

In the address bar of a web browser type 

site:redriverancestry.ca catherine flett

There are no results for Catherine Flett because she is not on the website. So I searched for Catherine's father John Flett. He doesn't have his own page, so I used the Google search.

site:redriverancestry.ca william flett

The following are the results from this search.  

From the results I found that he appears on his father's page William Flett (1786-1852). Below is the beginning of William's page. Husband and wife listed at the top. Their parents' and birth information is listed. If their father has a page on this website there will be a link to their page. 

A summary of their life with world and country history during their lifetime. At the bottom of William Flett's page is the list of their children, shown below.  

I then searched for Catherine's mother Eleanor Ellen Atkinson. 

site:redriverancestry.ca eleanor atkinson

Eleanor Ellen Atkinson is listed as a child on her father's page George Atkinson (1815-1846).
I clicked on George in the list. George Atkinson's page. 


If you click History from the top menu the following screen appears. 
Each is a hyperlink to another page with history, photos, maps, names, families, and links to other forums. 

Forum Pages
Below is the forum page for George Atkinson and family. This is a place to ask questions with others who have the information. Just before the list of children is a link to their forum page.

Below is the top of the forum page for George. 

To be able to make comments or start a new discussion, you must create a username with a password. 

Register and Log in 
To get the webpage to log in or to register, try to reply to a post in a forum or create a new post. 

The following page will appear.

Log in
  1. If you have already created an account, then enter your username and password. 
  2. Click the box to Remember me if you are on your own computer then you won't have to log in each time. 
  3. Hide my online status this session 
  4. The second box is asking if you want your name showing in the forum when you are on, to anyone else on the site. 
  5. Click Login.
If you do not have a username yet then create a username by:
  1. Click Register (bottom left corner).
    The following screen appears.
  2. Read, and click I agree to these terms
    The following screen appears

3. Fill in the form with a username, password and email address.

4. Click Submit. 

    Enjoy the site. 

Métis Scrip

A friend of mine asked me if I had an ancestor that really stood out for me? One that I wanted to get to know better. I said yes. For me, it is a several great aunt. For my friend Tracey, it is her twice great grandmother. She wanted to learn more about her. She gave me her name and mentioned she was Metis. I then went to the Red River Ancestry webpage where we found her ancestors. This search process is found on another blog post.

On George Atkinson’s page on the Red River Ancestry page, it states the following.

                In 1875 Nancy claimed her Half-breed Scrip as the widow of George Atkinson.

We, of course, then had to go find the scrips of Tracey’s family. This post will illustrate the search steps to find her families scrip and the information on these documents .

Before searching it is good to understand what these documents are. Library and Archives Canada states, “Metis scrip was administered in Western Canada from 1870 until 1924 as a means of extinguishing the Aboriginal title of mixed-ancestry Aboriginal peoples. This policy was implemented in three basic phases: in Manitoba from 1870 to 1886; in the North West from 1885 to 1887; and in conjunction with First Nation treaties from 1887 to 1924.” [1]

The Canadian Encyclopedia states "Scrip is any document used in place of legal tender, for example a certificate or voucher, where the bearer is entitled to certain rights. In 1870, the Canadian government devised a system of scrip -referred to as Metis scrip - that issued documents redeemable for land or money." They continue explaining it was give to Metis people living in the West in exchange for their land rights.[2]

To search for scrip records, we went to the Library and Archives Canada website.

1.       Go to Collection Search webpage at 

2.      Click on Advanced search , located on the right side, above the search boxes. 
The following screen appears.

3.       In the All these words search field, enter "RG15, scrip", plus the name of the Metis applicant. 
Hit the Tab key. For example: "RG15 scrip Nancy Atkinson"

4.      In the next section of options, click All for the Database option.
The following menu appears.

5.      Select Collections and Fonds
More options appear below.

6.       Click the All box for Hierarchical level. (Indicated by arrow). 
The following menu appears.

7.       Select File.

8.       Leave the other fields blank.

Click the green button at the bottom Search.
A new screen appears with the search results.

Not all the results were Nancy’s. Two were not the right family.
Three were scrips for George and Nancy’s daughters: Mary, Sarah, and Jane.
Two documents were Nancy Atkinson’s script, widow of George Atkinson.

 9.     To view a scrip, click on the title (blue underlined text) to view the document. 
       The following appeared.

Full title of above
Scrip affidavit for Atkinson, Nancy; widow of George Atkinson; born: 1815; father: George Kippling (Métis); mother: (Indian); claim no: 8; date of issue: May 1, 1876; amount: $160 = Demande de certificat pour Atkinson, Nancy; veuve de George Atkinson; né(e): en 1815; père: George Kippling (Métis(se)); mère: (Indien(ne)); no de réclamation: 8; date d'émission: le 1er mai, 1876; au montant de: 160$

The following information was given on the scrip.

1.       “I, Nancy Atkinson (born Kippling) of the Parish of St. Andrews in the County of Lisgar in said Province, widow of George Atkinson make oath and say as follows:

I am a Half-breed head of a family resident in the Parish of St. Andrew in the said Province, on the 15th day of July, A.D. 1870, and consisting of myself and children – and I claim to be entitled as such head of family to receive a grant of one hundred and sixty acres of land, or to receive Scrip for one hundred and sixty dollars pursuant to the Statue in that behalf.

2.       I was born on or about the –– day of –– A.D. 1815 in the North West Territory

3.       George Kippling a Half Breed was my father;
and  ––– an Indian was my mother.

4.       I have not made or caused to be made any claim of land or Scrip other than the above in this or any other Priah in said Province, nor have I claimed or received, as an Indian, any annuity moneys, from the Government of said Dominion.

10.   The other item was a digitized copy of the actual scrip. There are 8 pages showing each of the $20 scrips amounting to $160.00.

There was another scrip, of Tracey’s direct line, daughter of George and Nancy was Eleanor Fleet, wife of John Flett.

Full title of above

“Scrip affidavit for Flett, Eleanor, wife of John Flett; born: 1837; father: George Atkinson (Métis); mother: Nancy (Métis); claim no.: 93; date of issue: May 1, 1876 = Demande de certificat pour Flett, Eleanor, épouse de John Flett; né(e): en 1837; père: George Atkinson (Métis(se)); mère: Nancy (Métis(se)); no de réclamation: 93; date d'émission: le 1er mai, 1876”

This is a 2-page document which be downloaded by individual pages or both at the same time. The following information is given.

“I, Eleanor Flett (born Atkinson) of the Parish of St. Andrew in the County of Lisgar, wife of John Flett, in said Province, farmer make oath and say as follows:

1.       I am a Half-breed head of a family resident in the Parish of St. Andrew in the Province on the 15th day of July, A.D. 1870, and consisting of myself and husband and children and I claim to be entitled as such head of family to receive a grant of one hundred and sixty acres of land, or to receive Scrip for one hundred and sixty dollars pursuant to the Statue in that behalf.

2.       I was born on or about the   day of   A.D. 1837.

3.       Eleanor indicates that George Atkinson, a half breed, is her father.

Eleanor indicates that his wife Nancy, a half breed, is her mother. “

·         Eleanor gives her mark of an x for her signature.


Print, Download, and Fullscreen

Immediately below the document screen, on the left side, are three icons.

The first is to print the document directly from the web browser.

The middle icon is to download the document to your computer. 
When you click on the download icon, the following little window appears.

11.   Click in the check box so the check mark appears.

12.   Click Download file or Download all images (PDF).

13.   The file(s) will download to your Downloads folder on your computer.

14.   The document will open in Adobe Reader, or your default PDF program.
The first page is a terms of use and Copyright page in French and English.

Fullscreen Mode
The last is to Enter Fullscreen mode. This removes the web browser from the top and the document is bigger and easier to read.

To get out of Fullscreen mode, Click on the same icon in the bottom left corner.

Information on other records
The above was good information and proof for her family, but other records have more information such as the following.




[1] Library and Archives Canada, Aurora, The scrip solution: the North West Metis scrip policy, 1885-1887https://bac-lac.on.worldcat.org/oclc/77378472?lang=en

[2] The Canadian Encyclopedia, Métis Scrip in Canadahttps://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/metis-scrip-in-canada, accessed Oct 2023. 

FNMI The Indigenous Peoples of Canada

FNMI is an acronym used in Canada to identify the three Indigenous (or Aboriginal) peoples of Canada.[1]  The three peoples are First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. Official government papers and documents often use the term Aboriginal but the current common term is Indigenous.

This post will give the basic coverage of each People, as well as definitions and terminology, including their preferred name for themselves and website resources to help with genealogical research for each.  To learn more, refer to the sources in the endnotes. 

Online Resources for Indigenous Peoples
Library and Archives Canada 
On their page First Nations, Inuit and Métis historical terminology, the Library and Archives Canada webpage provides terminology for all FNMI including specific definitions for each of the three Peoples.[2]

FN = First Nations
The First Nations of Canada include more than 50 distinct Indigenous nations. Historically they were called Indians, and legally are still referred to as Indians in the Indian Act, but First Nation has replaced that term in common use for both individuals and bands, as Indian is considered an offensive term (but is currently still enshrined in law). The term includes Status, non-Status, and Treaty Indians. The term First Nation became commonly used in the 1970s and was first officially used in Canada in 1980 in the Declaration of the First Nations.[3]

A comparative term in the United States would be Native American. Some First Nations in Canada include communities in the USA as the US-Canada border goes through their traditional territory. Their preferred identification may vary person to person and nation to nation. If you are researching first person and talking to people from a cross-border nation, you can ask them what they prefer to go by. Many Indigenous Peoples have websites that share their history, culture, and current lives where you can find information on them and see how they refer to themselves. Otherwise, you can choose which term to use depending on your audience (whether Americans or Canadians). 

As reserve lands are governed by the Indian Act and the Indian Act only applied to First Nations until recently, First Nations are the only Indigenous peoples who can hold reserve lands. They may live on or off of these “reserve” lands. First nations may live either on and off of reserves.[4] The term “band” refers to a small community. The term First Nation is preferred now over the term “band” for many.[5]

Online Resources for First Nations
Library and Archives Canada

This webpage has a list of each province and territory. Each title is a hyperlink to a page which lists the First Nations in that jurisdiction. Each individual webpage has a brief description, a Google Map showing the location of each first nation, and a list with the name of each nation. There are hyperlinks to the Nations webpage, if they have one.  

Native American Nations
The Native American Nations website has United States and Canada Indian Tribes. 

The site has a list of First Nations in each province. Some of the First Nations listed have contact information for the First Nations of Canada.


On the screenshot above, the left menu on the webpage has links to Free Indian Records. On the right side of this webpage, there is a table containing each province as well as the Northwest Territories. If you click on the name (hyperlink), it will take you to a webpage containing a list of all nations in that province or territory.

Under the links to provinces and territories is a list of "Other tribal Histories" with a link to a page for each. These pages give information on the history, organization, bands, locations, and more of each tribe.  

On the right is the beginning of the Alberta page.

Warning:  Many of the links do not work. The address and phone number hopefully will help. If you find a missing website or contact information, there is a contact to send this information to.

Note: Nations' borders do not match provincial boundaries, with some located in multiple provinces and some extending south to the United States.

Canada First Nations Genealogy Research Facebook

Can Genealogy
Links to First Nations, Metis and Indigenous resources.


M = Métis
Métis are the people whose ancestry is mixed European and Indigenous.[6] They were called “Half Breeds” until recently. Métis is pronounced “may tea.”

At the beginning of France’s colonization of New France, those in charge were against interracial marriage and relations. Soon the government needed the population to grow, but they were having trouble convincing enough European civilians to move to New France, so they encouraged the colonizers to marry the “Indians.” The descendants of these couples were referred to as Half-Breeds, but today they are referred to as Métis. The term also covers the descendants of First Nations women with English or Scottish men.

Hudson’s Bay Company was incorporated in London, England May 2, 1670. The purpose of the company was to “seek a northwest passage to the Pacific, to occupy the lands adjacent to Hudson’s Bay, and to carry on any commerce with those lands that might prove profitable.”[7] Not to be out done by Britain, a few Scottish men founded the North West Company in 1783. Many Métis are of Scottish ancestry. The two companies merged in 1821 under the Hudson’s Bay Company name and charter.[8]

Métis is not just a term to refer to people who have mixed ancestry. The Métis Nation has a unique culture that developed from their heritage and their history as a post-contact Indigenous community associated with the fur trade and the bison hunt.

Métis Scrip
“Scrip was a document, warrant, or certificate that entitled the holder to a certain allotment of crown lands in what is now Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan…”

They were given to 

  • Metis residents
  • original White Settlers
  • members of the militia and the North-West Mounted Police.[9]

The Metis Scrip included an amazing amount of information, including parents' names, all the places the person has lived, the names of all their children--living and dead, and sometimes more.

Information and background is found at the following link. To search through the database, follow the instructions found on this link in the Collection Search. For instructions on how to search for scrip on the Library and Archives Canada website, https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/collection/research-help/indigenous-heritage/pages/finding-metis-scrip.aspx.

Also check out my Metis Scrip post on this blog at https://ifamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2023/11/metis-scrip.html.

Online Resources for Métis
Hudson Bay Company Archives

Red River Ancestry
Red River Ancestry website is an essential website for Métis. The years of those listed range from the mid 1700s to the mid 1900s. Each couple has a webpage. If the couple's parents are known the page lists the couple's parents, and if their parents are also on the site it links to their webpage.  It gives a timeline of their lives with other relevant Canadian history. At the bottom of each couple’s page is the list of their children in birth order with names, birthdates, marriage dates and spouses’ name if they were married. Each couple, listed on this website, has a discussion page on the site. 

For more information about this website, check out the Red River Ancestry post on this Blog at https://ifamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2023/11/red-river-ancestry-website.html.  

I = Inuit
The Inuit people primarily inhabit the Arctic region, which includes northern Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. These are the people who historically  lived in igloos, though they no longer commonly use them as their permanent dwellings. The word Inuit means the people.[10] Inuit is pronounced “in-u-it.”

Many of us grew up calling these people Eskimos. I liked the word and when I heard it I pictured a family in an igloo living and surviving in the Arctic cold with big white parkas fur-lined hooded parkas. Their ability to survive up there in the very long very cold white winters amazed me. As I grew up, my family would share “Eskimo Kisses” which I was fond of and made me feel connected to these people. The term came from Western explorers in the Arctic area who saw Inuit people rubbing noses as a greeting. The Inuit were not the only people greeting this way, but the name stuck. 

I learned recently that the name Eskimo is disrespectful to Canadian Inuit and should not be used. The name “Eskimo” was given to them by other people. More recently, some people believed the word was from the Cree word meaning “eaters of raw meat” and therefore was meant as an insult, but Cree also ate raw meat, so this belief may be unfounded. Regardless, many Inuit in Canada dislike the term, do not identify with it, and prefer the name Inuit. In Alaska and Russia they prefer Eskimo. Inuit replaced Eskimo in the Canadian government in the 1970s.[11]

For genealogical purposes it is important to note Inuit naming practices, as defined in the Library and Archives Canada website. “Before the first half of the 20th century, Inuit did not use last names. Traditionally, Inuit naming was genderless and children were/are often named after significant or recently deceased family members, regardless of gender or namesake. Until the 1970s there were no surnames.”[12]

Online Resources for Inuit
Canada Inuit

Library and Archives Canada
Inuit Genealogy

End Notes

[1] The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, Indigenous Peoples in Canada, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/aboriginal-people, accessed October 2023.
[2] Library and Archives Canada,  First Nations, Inuit and Métis historical terminology,
https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/collection/research-help/indigenous-heritage/Pages/indigenous-terminology.aspx, accessed October 2023.
Proper capitalization:  Library and Archives Canada, Legistics First Nation(s) - Aboriginal, https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/legis-redact/legistics/p1p12.html 

First Nations
[3] The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, First Nations in Canada, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/first-nations, accessed October 2023.
Britannica, Native American indigenous peoples of Canada and United States, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Native-American, accessed October 2023. 
[4] Ibid.
[5] The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, First Nations Bands in Canada, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/band, accessed October 2023. 

[6] The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, Métis, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/metis, accessed October 2023. 
[7] Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Hudson’s Bay Company, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hudsons-Bay-Company, accessed October 2023. 
[8] Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, North West Company, https://www.britannica.com/topic/North-West-Company, accessed October 2023. 
[9] Library and Archives Canada, Canada Government, Finding Métis Scrip, https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/collection/research-help/indigenous-heritage/pages/finding-metis-scrip.aspx, accessed October 2023. 

[10] Pulling Together: Foundations Guide, “Section 1: Introduction to Indigenous Peoples”, Inuit, https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationfoundations/chapter/topic-inuit, accessed October 2023. 
alt.usage.english, Eskimohttps://www.alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxeskimo.html, accessed October 2023. 
Britannica, Inuit, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Inuit-people, accessed October 2023. 
[11] Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, Inuit, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/inuit, accessed October 2023. 
[12] Library and Archives Canada, Library and Archives Canada Blog,  Inuit: Disc numbers and Project Surname, June 22, 2016,  https://thediscoverblog.com/2016/06/22/the-inuit-disc-numbers-and-project-surname, accessed October 2023.