Name change fees waived for residential school survivors, family members in N.S.

Nova Scotia flag

The province is waiving fees for residential school survivors and their families who want to reclaim names that were changed by the residential school system.

In a press release, government says the process of removing the cultural identities for many Indigenous children began by replacing aboriginal names with Euro-Canadian names.

Premier Stephen McNeil, who is also Aboriginal Affairs Minister, says, "Waiving these fees will make it easier for residential school survivors to reclaim their birth name, and I am hopeful it can be another step in the healing process."

Once the legal change of name is complete, fees to change a name on a driver's licence and a government issued photo ID will also be waived.

There is no fee to update a Health Card.

Currently, the fee to change a name is $165.70 and an additional $24.95 for each family member, with a fee of $39.90 for a long form birth certificate.

This initiative was one of the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and government says the fees will be waived for five years beginning next Tuesday.