We Are All Treaty People

First Nations Membership and Indigenous Rights

  • Published - 05/12/2018
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  • Posted By - OTC
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On Dec. 3, the Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan, Mary Culbertson, joined a discussion hosted by the Native Women’s Association of Canada and Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corporation.

The topic was First Nations Membership and Indigenous Rights, specifically around the Indian Act, Bill C-3 and Bill S-3.

Bill C-3 is the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act, which came into force Jan. 31, 2011, with the goal to address gender equity in the Indian Act and amends provisions of the Indian Act that the Court of Appeal for British Columbia found to be unconstitutional. It enables the grandchildren of women who lost their status through marriage to register.

Bill S-3 is an Act to amend the Indian Act in response to the Superior Court of Quebec decision in Descheneaux c. Canada, which extends entitlement to Indian status. It works to end remaining discrimination in rules on how status is passed to descendants. The act came into force Dec. 22, 2017

The daylong discussion in Yorkton heard from Tribal Chief Isabel O’Soup, Christine Hall of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and activist for Indigenous Women’s Rights Sharon McIvor.

Culberston said she was glad to be involved because, "the Indian Act was the vehicle that was used to dismantle and interfere in systems that were existing since time immemorial. Government policy that determines ones identity and who is a member of their nation is not according to Treaty."