Little Bird was born in 1998
and is a status band member of the Walpole
Island First Nations Reserve.
also an Underground Railroad descendant, a
direct descendant of Mariah Dyke, George Madison
Crawford and Thomas Alexander.
well aware and proud of her ancestral roots.
enjoys attending and dancing at Pow Wows. She
can also point out in the night sky the Big
Dipper and North Star, those silent sentinels
that guided some of her ancestors to freedom in
represents a living legacy, her pride is a
source of strength, it is a personal commitment,
an attitude which separates excellence from
photo courtesy of Spencer
Assistant Curator, Buxton
National Historic Site & Museum
The Ontario Metis Family Records
Center (OMFRC) is dedicated to researching and
documenting the aboriginal and Metis families of
Ontario. While Ontario is our primary focus, it is
impossible to restrict our research to only Ontario.
Many aboriginal and Metis families traveled extensively
throughout the United States and Canada. Our
research therefore encompasses both countries. We
have been gathering information for over 40 years and we
have records as far back as the early 1600s.
Thousands of people have family
traditions of an Indian ancestor but don’t know the
exact details. With each generation the
information passed down to the next generation becomes
more obscure. We want to document as much as
possible before the opportunity is lost forever.
If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to talk
to any elderly relatives before their knowledge is lost
forever. Talk to all of them. Don’t assume
that brothers and sisters know the same things.
Grandma may have told one of them something that the
others never heard.
Traditionally family research is done
by starting with yourself and working backwards to
previous generations. We do the same but also
document every aboriginal individual we find in
historical records and seek out their descendents.
By working both from the present to the past and from
the past to the present we are often able to connect our
two methods of research.
believe that it is possible to find these unknown
ancestors by entering the details of these oral
traditions into a database and comparing the information
with other families’ traditions.
Coupling tradition with written
records vastly improves the chances of identifying your
aboriginal ancestors. Ontario aboriginal families
deserve to know their ancestry.
We gather our information from a
variety of sources: our members, public records,
genealogy records, family histories, local histories,
government records, interviews, land grants, scripts,
military records and census records, to name a few.
Anyone with aboriginal ancestry can
apply for their Certificate of Aboriginal Status.
For those of you interested in doing
your own aboriginal research, see ‘Do Your Own Research’
for suggestions on how to build your
First Nations or Metis family tree. First
Nations and Metis genealogy can be
difficult and we want to help with your Native research.
We hope you will share your findings with us.