Indigenous Researcher Certificate Course

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This course will focus on tracing Métis and Indigenous ancestry on the Prairie Provinces. Emphasis is placed on learning the need for using the Code of Ethics, Genealogical Standards and Standards of Evidence, analyzing research problems, developing a research plan and reporting the results. This will be an online course that is divided into ten sections. Research assignments are part of the questions for each section. All questions can be searched online but the expectation is that recommendations will be made for what further research is required in libraries and archives.

This is the first time the course is offered online. Those registered are expected to make comments about each section and make recommendations for how the course could be improved.

Purpose:   This course is intended to teach what the Indigenous record sources are for the Prairie provinces.


  • it is strongly recommended that you have done some genealogical research before taking the course
  • Saskatchewan Record Searcher course must be taken prior to taking this course


  • to use a Code of Ethics, Genealogical Standards and Standards of Evidence
  • to understand the record sources for genealogical research in Aboriginal records for Western Canada
  • learn how to analyze a research problem and develop a research plan
  • learn how to conduct the research, document the findings and write the report


Session 1 – Introduction to Indigenous Genealogical Research

a.  Code of Ethics        

b.  Standards

  • for sound genealogical research
  • for the use of technology
  • for sharing information with others
  • for self-improvement

c   Genealogy and the Law

  • Privacy Act
  • Freedom of Information
  • Copyright
  • Identifying and crediting sources

d.  Use of the Internet

Session 2.  Begin the Search

  • Terms and Abbreviations
  • Genealogical Proof Standard
  • Standards of Evidence

            – original or derivative
            – primary or secondary
            – direct or indirect

  •  paper versus genealogy program

Session 3.  Research Strategy

  • Basic genealogy
  • The 5 W’s  – Who, When, Where, What and Why for people and records

Session 4.  Libraries, Archives and Societies with Indigenous Resources

  • National, provincial, local

Session 5.  Vital Records and Alternate Sources

  • vital statistics 
  • church records
  • cemetery records  
  • history books
  • newspapers                            
  • directories
  • National Registration

Session 6.  Land records

  •  homestead records and indexes, other land records

Session 7.  Census records

  • Government of Canada, – 1911, 1901, 1891, 1881, 1870
  • Agricultural – 1901, 1906, 1916
  • Hudson’s Bay Company
  • Indian Affairs Census records
  • Census Substitutes – directories, voters lists, school registers

Session 8.  Military records

  • records at Library and Archives Canada
  • records found at other institutions

Session 9.  Court records

  • Family law – adoption and divorce
  • civil and criminal
  • surrogate/ probate
  • The Public Trustee

Session 10.  Métis Research

  • records at Library and Archives Canada including scrip records
  • Métis Archival Project
  • Métis records found at other institutions 

 Session 11. First Nations Research

  • records at Library and Archives Canada including Indian Affairs records
  • records at Indian Affairs and Northern Development
  • First Nations records found at other institutions

Final Assignment:

  • a research assignment to be conducted using online resources which will involve  using all the skills learned in the class to analyze the problem, develop the research plan, report the findings with detailed citations and recommendations for research that is to be conducted at particular resource centres

Fee Schedule:  Contact SGS


  • Tracing Your Aboriginal Ancestors in the Prairie Provinces: a guide to the records and how to use them, 2nd edition … $27.00
  • Evidence! Citation & analysis for the Family Historian … $29.70
  • Genealogy and the Law in Canada … $20.00
  • Genealogical Standards of Evidence … available at Chapters or Dundurn Press


  • sessions can be submitted as completed
  • final assignment to be completed within 6 months