Women leaders rip Ottawa for not ending Indian Act discrimination

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Women leaders were in Ottawa Tuesday demanding an end to sex discrimination in the Indian Act.

It was supposed to have been taken care of in a bill passed last year called S-3.

But there is still unfinished business because a compromise between the house and senate to pass S-3 is still unresolved.

“Canada is an outlaw,” says Pam Palmater. “It’s an outlaw with regards to failing to uphold the basic human rights of equality for Indian men and women.”

Palmater was one of several leaders asking for an order in council – a vote in the federal cabinet that is approved by the Governor General.

Sharon McIvor says it would immediately make S-3 complete.

“Any given Tuesday the cabinet can make us legally equal to our male counterparts.”

Bill S-3 was supposed to do away with any lingering discrimination faced by women passing on status to their children after they marry non-Indigenous men.

The House of Commons wanted to keep a cut-off date of 1951 meaning those born before would still face trouble passing on status.

“The fact that we’re all here fighting for this makes absolutely no sense when we have a government that says there’s no relationship more important than the one with Indigenous peoples,” Palmater said.

“Unless they meant only Indigenous men.” MORE

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