NWAC is working to combat gender-based discrimination under the Indian Act and bring changes to the legislation to ensure the laws respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). First Nations women continue to be discriminated against based on their sex, age and marital status. NWAC is fighting to advance the legal and policy solutions to end these injustices.
Indian status under the Indian Act provided Canada with control over First Nations. The objective was to enfranchise First Nations, meaning to provide them with settler citizenship and eliminate Indigenous traditions and cultures, including matriarchal lineage systems. The Indian Act deprived First Nations women of access to their Indigenous communities for marrying non-status men or when their husbands became enfranchised.