Québec Native Women Reacts to the Amendment of Bill S-3
Kahnawake, September 7 2017 – Québec Native Women welcomes the amendment of Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration), adopted on December 4th in the House of Commons. QNW wishes to honour the work and leadership of Stéphane Descheneaux and his advisors, who fought to end, once and for all, the gender-based discrimination existing in the Indian Act. However, the response by the government of Canada, although welcome, is far from satisfactory.
For over 40 years, QNW has worked to recognize and defend the rights of indigenous women in the province of Québec, namely with regards to inequities and diverse forms of discrimination included in this act. The position of QNW has always been clear, and the organization remains firm in its demands. QNW has repeatedly brought to light the numerous inconsistencies of this law, which impedes on the rights of children whose paternity is unknown or undeclared, and which categorizes and standardizes the indigenous identity (see articles 6(1) and 6(2) of the act). To this end, QNW wishes to reiterate that the amendment 6(1)(a) “all the way”, proposed by the Senate, could have corrected this discrimination experienced by indigenous women and their descendants. It must be noted that the decision by the House of Commons to not pass this amendment deeply disappointed the organization. QNW will obviously present these elements in their entirety during phase 2 of the bill, which aims to consult First Nations on the future of the Indian Act.
« It is more than time for the discriminatory measures of the Indian Act to be eliminated. The government cannot claim to be invested in a real process of reconciliation with First Nations without having this commitment reflected in its choices and actions. We want to see real change”, states Viviane Michel, president of QNW.
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Julia Couture-Glassco, Communication Officer
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