1. Figure out if you’re eligible

To reclaim your traditional name in Ontario as an adult, you need to:

  • be a residential school survivor, or a family member of a residential school survivor,
  • be 18 years or older, or have your parent's consent if you're 16 or 17, and
  • have lived in Ontario with a permanent residential address for 12 months.

If you were away from Ontario in the past 12 months, it must have only been for a short time.


You need a person to confirm that you've lived in Ontario for the last 12 months. This person is called a guarantor. Your guarantor must also live in Ontario.

Part 4 of the application form has a list of people who can be a guarantor, including:

  • Chiefs of Indian bands
  • principals of elementary and secondary schools
  • lawyers or paralegals
  • licensed medical practitioners
  • people who can legally perform weddings

If you cannot find anyone from the list to be your guarantor, you can ask an adult who:

  • is not a relative,
  • has known you for at least 5 years, and
  • knows that you've lived in in Ontario for the past 12 months.


If you want to reclaim your child's name, they must:

  • be 17 or younger
  • have lived in Ontario with a permanent residential address for the past 12 months
  • not be
  • agree to the name change if they're 12 years or older
  • not be part of a or that does not allow them to change their name

If a child is under a year old, they must have lived in Ontario since birth.

Hide this website