Legal authority under the Indian Act all Indians are allowed to change jurisdiction to Quebec Civil Code


This booklet provides information based on the Indian Act on how to administer
an estate of an Indian who lived on reserve or on Crown lands when he or she died

English Version

French Version

Funeral Q&A

Link to above flyer:Flyer – FPL Estates Presentation

As you may know Les Salons Funeraires Guay is part of the largest network of funeral homes in North America; Dignity Memorial.

The Mission of Dignity Memorial is to help create remembrances that reflect the unique values, character and traditions of the families we serve.

Here at Les Salons Funeraires Guay, we stand by that mission.

At the same time, funeral homes across Quebec must conduct themselves in accordance with the FUNERAL OPERATIONS ACT:
More about the FUNERAL OPERATIONS ACT can be found at “Publications Quebec”:

The hard truth is that we will all need the services of a funeral home one day.

For one reason, under the Code Civil of Québec, every death that takes place in Québec must be declared to the ‘Directeur de l’état civil’.

In general, the funeral service business that takes charge of the body of the deceased, declares the death to the Directeur de l’état civil:,the%20Declaration%20of%20Death%20form


1) It our custom to greet our guests at the door, can we do that?
A – Yes you can do that.

2) Can we wash and wrap our deceased?
A – Yes you can do that at a mutually agreed upon date and time in Rosemere. There will be no charge.

3) We like to sing to our deceased all night, can we do that at your place?
A – Yes it’s possible. We will need to find an employee who will stay with the family all night.
There will be fees associated, to be determined with the family on a case by case basis.

4) Can the family be pallbearers?
A – Family members may join in with our pallbearers but ours must be present.
On a side note; for safety, no family carriers are allowed near the open grave.

5) For how long can the funeral take place if there is no embalming?
A – 3 hours maximum, casket closed and the funeral director must be present.

6) Must a casket be buried in a cemetery?
A – Yes, unless the Minister’s authorization has been obtained.
Please refer to the FUNERAL OPERATIONS ACT Item 55:
“The interment of a body must be carried out in a lot or mausoleum situated in a cemetery or be carried out, after the Minister’s authorization has been obtained, in another place.”

7a) Would there ever be a reason where a cremation is absolutely required.
A – No.

7b) Were cremations not mandatory for persons who died of Covid 19 during the pandemic?
A – At the beginning, we were not allowed to embalm the person if the death was caused by covid-19, so we had no choice but to proceed either to the cremation directly or proceed to the burial (with hermetic casket) immediately (without any viewing).

8) Are there situations where embalming is prohibited?
A – Yes, if the person died of certain diseases.
For example: botulism, cholera, yellow fever, viral haemorrhagic fevers, anthrax disease, plague, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, smallpox, plague and cholera.
This can be verified here, item number 59:
The diseases are detailed under the Annexe or Schedule 1 near the bottom of this web page.

9a) What if a family member has not seen the deceased in quite some time and wants to say a final goodbye before the cremation?
A – The service of a ‘private moment’ could be an option. The private moment is offered at the Rosemere location for Les Salons Funeraires Guay. It provides 10 to 20 minutes with the loved one, in a cremation container that is not cardboard with a window installed on the container between the deceased the the family member. For a fee of 295$.

9b) Because the service of ‘private moment’ is usually said to be reserved for close family members, how does the funeral home decide the definition of a close family member?
Must it be only the children of the deceased?
A – This would be decided in collaboration with the family.



Casket – Quote

Cremation – Simple – Quote

Cremation – Funeral -Quote


  • Who is covered by the Indian Act?
  •  The Minister’s role:
    •  decedent estates
    •  living estates
    •  minors
    • wills (section 45 and 46)
    •  intestacy (section 48)
  •  Transfer of jurisdiction (section 44)
  •  The administration of estates:
    • notification of death
    • appointing administrators
    • duties of administrators
  •  Interest in land as an estate asset
  • The application of the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial
    Interests or Rights Act

Overview of Estates Management


Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) provides services to help families manage the legal and financial affairs of First Nations people who usually live on reserve and have died, or who are minors or dependent adults.


Examples – 2022 07 05 – FNLMAQL – Template will and checklists – ENGLISH

Created by: Catherine Fagan (she/her)