Starting in early 2018, the federal government will begin issuing ‘Elite Tier’ Platinum Certificates of Indian Status to a select number of people.
Featuring a holographic image of a smiling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a department spokesperson said the new cards allow for the ability to avoid long lines at health care centres and other service providers for ‘preferred treaty rights-bearers.’
“Our beloved First Nations have longed called for better access to services and this is really going to streamline that process,” the spokesperson said.
“With these new cards we are turning reconciliation into reconcili-ACTION.”
The new cards will also include automatic enrollment in the federal government’s new loyalty program, Treaty Points. The more rights-bearers use their cards, the more points they accumulate towards merchandise like mugs and baseball caps.
The new cards will become available to Chiefs, Grand Chiefs and National Chiefs in early 2018, with a wider roll-out scheduled for late 2021. However, the spokesperson said that this didn’t mean there would be an increase in services, just that some would have better access to what little already exists.