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Removal of all sex-based inequities in the Indian Act

Posted on: September 5, 2019

News release

Government of Canada Implements Remaining Provisions of Bill S-3, Ending Sex-Based Inequities

August 15, 2019 — Gatineau, Quebec — Crown-Indigenous Relations Canada and Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to gender equality and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, and is eliminating all remaining sex-based inequities from Indian Act registration provisions going back to its inception 150 years ago.

Today, the Government of Canada has brought into force the final provisions under Bill S-3, which removes the 1951 cut-off from the Indian Act registration provisions. Bringing these remaining provisions of Bill S-3 into force responds to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ calls to Justice and is in line with the United Nations Human Rights Committee decision on the claim brought forward by Sharon McIvor and Jacob Grismer.

It also reflects the recommendations from the Minister’s Special Representative, Claudette Dumont-Smith, who led consultations on the removal of the 1951 cut-off as part of a broader process about Indian Act registration reform and band membership and citizenship. The Government is also committed to implementing the implementation plan set out by Ms. Dumont-Smith in her recommendations.

This means that as of August 15, 2019, all descendants born prior to April 17, 1985 to women who lost status or were removed from band lists because of their marriage to a non-Indian man dating back to 1869, will be entitled to registration, bringing them in line with the descendants of men who never lost status.

Once registered, First Nations individuals will be eligible for federal benefits and services such as Treaty payments, post-secondary education funding, and Non-Insured Health Benefits.

Information on eligibility, the registration process and required documents, as well as general information on Bill S-3 and the removal of the 1951 cut-off, can be found at: Indian status and Collaborative Process on Indian Registration, Band Membership and First Nation Citizenship: Consultation Plan.