Wednesday, June 3

Government of Canada to amend Indian Act in wake of landmark BC ruling

"On April 6, 2009, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that certain registration provisions of the Indian Act are unconstitutional as they violate the equality provision of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms...

The ruling stems from a civil law suit that Sharon McIvor launched in October 1989, in her bid to acquire Indian status for herself and her son. She claimed that section 6 of the Indian Act was discriminatory in that it treated the descendants of Indian women who married non-Indian men differently from the descendants of Indian men who married non-Indian women."

Backgrounder - McIvor: an Overview

"From 1869 to 1985, an Indian woman who married a non-Indian man would lose her status as an Indian under the Indian Act and her children were not entitled to status. However, an Indian man who married a non-Indian woman would retain his status and his wife and children would gain status. Moreover, if a child's mother and paternal grandmother did not have a right to Indian status other than by virtue of having married Indian men, the child had status only up to the age of 21(commonly referred to as the Double Mother Rule)."

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