Showing posts from June, 2017

Why is Trudeau Government Opposing Charter Equality for Indigenous Women?

(Originally published in Lawyer's Daily on June 21, 2017 - edited) Shortly after Confederation, the federal government used its jurisdictional powers over “Indians and lands reserved for the Indians” in s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act 1867 , to enact the Indian Act, 1876 — making it nearly as old as “Canada” itself. For well over a hundred years, the Indian Act has included provisions intended to legislate Indians out of existence — a form of forced assimilation — that primarily targeted Indigenous women and their descendants for enfranchisement (loss of status as an “Indian” and removal from the reserve as a member). Although there have been many amendments to the act over the years, the federal government, through the Indian Registrar, retains exclusive authority over the legal criteria for determining who is an Indian. Unfortunately, self-declared feminist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s elite feminist team of ministers is actively working against gender equality amend

Bill S-3 Amendments to the Indian Act and the Never-Ending Battle for Equality for Indigenous Women

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAN) is currently studying Bill S-3 An Act to Amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities ). As its title suggests, this bill should eliminate the remaining gender discrimination contained within the Indian Act’s registration and membership provisions – but it does not. The Indian Act’s registration provisions are already a complex mess of rules intended to legislate Indians out of existence – and the government’s version of the bill does not make it any better. However, the Senate heard from First Nations, Indigenous and women’s advocacy organizations, Indigenous women, and legal experts during their initial study of the bill and agreed with the consensus opinion that the government’s bill falls short of eliminating gender discrimination. They introduced an amendment that addresses the bulk of the remaining discrimination – only to find the gov