Union of BC Indian Chiefs launches status card racism survey

Survey is open to all status card holders in B.C. until July 1


THE Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) has launched an online survey to determine how much racism and discrimination users face when they present their status cards in public places like banks and retail outlets.

Maxwell Johnson and his niece, Tori-Anne, were arrested and handcuffed outside a Bank of Montreal branch in 2019 after a member of staff dialed 911 to report fraudulent use of a status card to open a bank account. Their subsequent legal action and human rights case shone light on the challenges people using their status cards face.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, said on Friday: “This critical survey will let us know how widespread the fear of using a status card is, and give us the tools we need to make change in the courts of law and public opinion. It will also tell us more about how Indigenous people adapt their clothes, their demeanor and their conversation to avoid racism.”

“This study will begin to address the lack of data on status card use, help us measure the extent of the problem and provide us the means to address it,” said Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice-President. “We have to address racism and discrimination in concrete ways. It is completely unacceptable that First Nations using a status card should be treated with anything other than respect.”

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer, said: “We are hoping to hear from at least 1,000 respondents. The results of the study will be made available to the public and will be used in ongoing and future legal proceedings. So please take a few minutes to share your experiences and help make positive change possible.”

UBCIC encourages all status card holders in B.C. to fill in the survey and to encourage their friends, relatives, and community to do the same:


You can also email UBCIC for its social media collateral at statuscardsurvey@ubcic.bc.ca

The survey closes July 1 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.