ᑕᑳᐧᑭ ᐲᓯᒼ takwâki-pîsim October; The fall moon

BCH Research Services provides clients with family history research

Indian Status Research 

I have researched family history for individuals seeking Indian status for the past 10 years.  Most of my clients have been from western Canada: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. My searches have led me into libraries, archives, government departments, and First Nation communities. During this exciting new age of online research, I have also found documents important to my searches throughout Canada and all over the world.

I have learned a lot about the Indian Status application and protest process from supporting my clients through the Registrar’s requests for further family history documents. Some of my clients had been going through the process for 20 years before I joined their efforts. There is nothing like that email or phone call when we are successful in our joint efforts! Status at last!

testimonialletter“Dear Mrs. Cowley-Head                                                                                 

Just a short letter to thank you for all the work you put into for the research for my family history.                                                                   

With this I was able to achieve my goal in becoming a treaty status.  I will be forever grateful, again thank you very much.”                                                                                                                 

Sincerely, B.A.B.


Sixties Scoop Adoptees – Indian Status Search

During the past several years, I also started meeting a special group of clients who were encountering barriers in registering for Indian Status because they had been adopted at birth and did not have the proper documentation to support their applications.  Individuals who were adopted out of First Nation and Metis communities beginning around the 1960’s are referred to as Sixties Scoop Adoptees.  Statistics indicate that at least 20,000 of our children were scooped out of our families and communities and adopted into non-Aboriginal homes.

Many obstacles lay in the path of adoptees seeking to find their original birth families and original birth information, including proving their descendancy from status Indians or Metis for registration purposes.

One aspect of the the experience of Aboriginal Sixties Scoop Adoptees was the legal barriers they were encountering in discovering their original birth families and communities.. Many adoptees are not aware of their birthright legal entitlements as Status Indians under the Indian Act or as Metis citizens. Many obstacles lay in the path of adoptees seeking to find their original birth families and original birth information in order to prove their descendancy from status Indians or Metis for registration purposes.  One such client has been interested in sharing his story so that other Sixties Scoop Adoptees on a similar journey can also share their stories and information, in order to help remove the barriers to finding their original legal identities.

Michael was born in Winnipeg, MB in 1972. He was adopted during the first year of his life. This is his story.

A Little About Me

Blanche Cowley-Head, B.A., B.Ed., J.D., LL.M.

Personal – I am a Swampy Cree woman born and raised in Treaty 5 territory in northern Manitoba. My family members are from Opaskwayak Cree Nation.  Currently, I am residing with my husband and sons in my original Treaty 5 territory in The Pas, Manitoba. My passions are picking, thoroughbred horses, Texas holdem poker, and genealogy.  It is not surprising that each passion is all about the thrill of the hunt!

Education and Work Experience – After I attained my high school diploma, I left for college in Saskatchewan and completed two undergraduate degrees: B.A. in Indian [Indigenous] Studies and a Bachelor of Education after Degree.  I worked in curriculum development for First Nation education systems for almost ten years. I returned to post-secondary studies in Saskatchewan and completed a Juris Doctor and Master of Laws by 2003.

I started my research services in 1998, offering curriculum development and research services to First Nation governments, First Nation education institutions, Provincial governments, post-secondary institutions and lawyers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  I have owned and operated my research services for 17 years as a sole proprietor.