Section 13 - Treaty Indians, Non-Indians on Reserves, Immigrants, Religious Orders

13.1.1 Assistance to Treaty Indians


At the time of application for EIA, federal or provincial responsibility must be determined for Treaty Indians for billing purposes, based on the participant's residency. For cases determined to be a federal responsibility, Financial and Administrative Services will seek reimbursement from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. When EIA workers are unable to determine whether the participant is a federal or a provincial responsibility, the Treaty Indian Residency Statement is to be completed and forwarded to Financial and Administrative Services for a determination.

Determining federal or provincial responsibility

Federal responsibility includes situations where the Treaty Indian has moved off the Reserve and:
  • has not been self-supporting for 12 months; or
  • is with a parent(s) who has not been self-supporting for 12 months; or
  • is funded by the band to attend school.
Provincial responsibility is based on residency off the Reserve and self-sufficiency for a period of 12 months or more. Periods confined to an institution or in receipt of assistance are not included.
In some situations, responsibility may not be apparent when the Treaty Indian:
  • moves off and on a Reserve several times, and has been self-sufficient for several periods, or
  • moved off a Reserve with a parent(s) and was later apprehended by a child welfare agency.

13.2.1 Non-Indians on Reserves


Paying Bills for Non-Treaties on Reserves (PDF 43 KB)

Referral and Reimbursement

If a non-Indian living on a Reserve applies for EIA, the applicant should be referred to the Band Welfare Administrator or the Indian Affairs Agent in charge of welfare on the Reserve. The Band Welfare Authority will provide an assessment and assistance in the same manner as assistance is granted to Indians on the Reserve. The EIA office should not, under normal circumstances, authorize assistance directly to non-Indians living on Indian reserves.
If eligibility is established, the Band Welfare Authority must forward a completed EIA Application Form to the EIA office advising that assistance will be provided on a bill-back basis.
Eligibility within a particular household for EIA, or for assistance from Indian Affairs, is dependent upon the status of the head of the family. To the extent that this policy can be affected at the EIA office level, it is the preferred method for granting assistance to mixed Treaty/non-Treaty households.
Situations may arise where the Band is administering income assistance to the participant and special health needs are not covered by Manitoba Health, Insured Benefits Branch nor by the federal Medical Services Branch. The Band Welfare Administration should approach Indian Affairs with a special needs request to ensure that the participant's basic needs are met.

13.2.2 Non-Indian Children on Reserves

The EIA program is not an appropriate source for reimbursement of assistance granted by Reserve welfare authorities to non-Indian children who are living on the reserve with persons other than their parents. Such cases are to be referred to local child welfare authorities for their consideration.

13.3.1 Immigrants




Consent and Acknowledgement (PDF 494 KB)

Some immigrants enter Canada on the basis of another person or an organization sponsoring them into the country. The sponsor undertakes to financially provide for the sponsored person(s) for various lengths of time. Under the current federal legislation, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, when a sponsorship is in place it may be for a period of one to ten years.

13.3.2 Applicants from Immigrants




Rental Confirmation (PDF 169 KB)
When a person who has been in Canada for less than 10 years applies for EIA benefits, it is necessary to determine if there is an active sponsorship for that person or any of the dependants for whom EIA benefits are being requested. This requirement is not waived if the applicant or any of the applicant's dependants are Canadian citizens, as a person may be both a sponsored immigrant with an active sponsorship and a Canadian citizen.
If a review of the immigration documents indicates that an active sponsorship is in place, EIA staff must determine why the person finds it necessary to apply for assistance as the sponsor has a legal obligation to provide for their basic needs. The applicant must sign a release that authorizes EIA to contact the defaulting sponsor, authorizes the sponsor to provide information relevant to the person's application for assistance, and to advise the applicant that the Department may take legal action against the sponsor to recover any assistance that is provided for the applicant and his/her dependants (if dependants are also sponsored). EIA staff must contact the sponsor and explore the sponsor's ability to honour the legal undertaking. Please note that the requirement for staff to contact the sponsor may be deferred by the EIA Social Services Program Manager when the situation suggests that there is “risk of harm” to the applicant/children, by the sponsor. If the applicant's sponsor contends they are unable or unwilling to honour the sponsorship undertaking, and the applicant is otherwise eligible for assistance, the EIA Social Services Program Manager may approve enrolment.

13.3.3 Recovery of Assistance from Defaulting Sponsor of Immigrants


Immediately following enrolment, the EIA Social Services Program Manager must send, by registered mail, a letter to the recipient's sponsor (with faxed copy to Immigration Canada) advising that legal action may be taken to recover assistance issued as a result of the sponsor's breach of the Sponsorship Undertaking. The approved letter must be used, and staff must verify from the Acknowledgement of Receipt Card issued by Canada Post that the correct person received the letter. The acknowledgment card must be retained. If the sponsor did not sign the acknowledgment card, efforts must be made to contact the sponsor to confirm that s/he received the letter and understands the contents. If the sponsor denies having received the letter, the EIA staff must advise the sponsor of the purpose and general contents of the letter and make arrangements to ensure that the sponsor receives an additional copy of the registered letter. Information regarding the date of contact with the sponsor and any outcomes are to be entered on the EIA participant's SAMIN case note.
If the applicant’s sponsor contends that s/he is unable to honour the sponsorship undertaking due to financial hardship, it is the responsibility of the sponsor to provide EIA with documentation to support the contention. In this situation, the district office may temporarily defer the recovery process and re-assess the sponsor’s financial status at a later date.
If it is determined that a sponsor has the ability to honour the sponsorship undertaking, then the EIA Social Services Program Manager must review the situation and, in consultation with Civil Legal Services, determine if legal action will be undertaken.

13.4.1 Indigent Priests and Members of Religious Orders

Eligibility is determined by assessment of financial resources, as in any other case, when an application for EIA is received from either of the following:

1. Members of Religious Orders

When taking vows or joining an Order, a member may make a vow of poverty and promise to turn over any monies received to the Order. In many instances, the dowry paid on joining is held in trust until the death of the member, or until leaving the Order. Also, any legacies payable to the member are placed in trusteeship. Neither is available for the use of the individual while a member of the Order.
While the Order makes no promise of maintenance, it is required to provide for a member during his or her lifetime, according to the canons of the Church.
When an application is received from a member of a religious community, the community should be requested to furnish the Department with a financial statement of assets and income. These assets and income should be divided by the number of members in the community in order to establish the eligibility of the applicant on a single basis.

2. Secular Priests

There are Priests who are not members of a religious order. These secular clergy should be considered as all other applicants and their financial resources assessed in the usual manner.

13.5.1 Eligibility - Applicants Engaged in Legal Strike Action


EIA will provide assistance to individuals who are engaged in legal strike action based on the financial eligibility criteria applied to all applicants. The current policy related to excess personal property and liquid asset provisions will continue to be applied to all people applying for EIA, regardless of whether they are engaged in legal strike action.

13.5.2 Work Expectations - Participants Engaged in Legal Strike Action

Participants engaged in legal strike action who are in receipt of EIA will be subject to work expectations based on categorical eligibility in the same manner as any other participant. Work expectations may include partaking in all available picket duty as well as seeking out and accepting any employment opportunities, including temporary employment that may be available to them.

13.5.3 Income Derived from Picket Duty

Any income derived from picket duty is to be considered as unearned income. Participants engaged in picket duty will be provided with an exemption on income for child care costs when required in the same manner that is afforded to other participants.

13.5.4 Provision of Assistance - Participants on Legal Strike Action

Basic needs will be provided to participants engaged in legal strike action on a bi-weekly basis. Shelter assistance will be provided to participants engaged in legal strike action in a manner consistent with the current general practice of providing the full month of shelter assistance for the first of the month.