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"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.  For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?"  Marcus Tullius Cirero (106 BC to 43 BC)

 

Little Bird was born in 1998 and is a status band member of the Walpole Island First Nations Reserve.  She is also an Underground Railroad descendant, a direct descendant of Mariah Dyke, George Madison Crawford and Thomas Alexander.  Mariah is well aware and proud of her ancestral roots.  She 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 Canada.  Mariah represents a living legacy, her pride is a source of strength, it is a personal commitment, an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.

photo courtesy of Spencer Alexander,

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.

 We 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.

Address Information:
OMFRC
1314 Hybla Road RR 5
Bancroft, ON
K0L 1C0
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