News

#TBT: Bill C-31, a Bill to Amend the Indian Act, passes into law in 1985

April 1985 saw some very important changes to very discriminatory measures of the Indian Act

April 1985 saw some very important changes to very discriminatory measures of the Indian Act, with the passing of Bill C-31.

Before this bill, it was very easy for First Nations women to be separated from their families and home communities. Under the Indian Act, First Nations women who married non-First Nations men lost their Indian status. A woman who married a man from a different band wouldn’t lose her status but would lose membership of her own community and would automatically become a member of her husband’s band.

In 1951, amendments to the Indian Act added further discriminatory measures. One was the “double mother clause” or Section 12(I)(a)(iv), a measure that would take away a child’s status if both their mother and grandmother gained Indian status through marriage, regardless of whether their father or grandfather were status Indians. Further, if a woman’s husband died or if the marriage ended somehow, the she would also lose her Indian status.

Bill C-31 was the result of a lot of hard work from many committed people, including Mary Two-Axe Earley and Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, who now sits in the Canadian Senate.

Screen_Shot_2016-11-28_at_3.39.47_PM.png

Read about Mary Two-Axe Earley in our story 6 Incredible Indigenous Women Every Canadian Should Know.

The bill abolished the gender discriminatory sections of the Indian Act and restored status to women whose status had been removed.

 

More Stories

#TBT: First Nations people granted the right to vote in 1960
RCAP's report was released 20 years ago, setting the stage for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
#TBT: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples final report
RCAP's report was released 20 years ago, setting the stage for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Greyeyes-Reid was the first Indigenous woman to join the Canadian Armed Forces
#TBT: Mary Greyeyes-Reid
Greyeyes-Reid was the first Indigenous woman to join the Canadian Armed Forces

Tags

weremember indigenousveteransday http-spiritpanels-humanrights-ca

Join the discussion

Captcha?color=006091&locale=en

Please enter the characters you see in the image above.

Comments (0)