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The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has advocated for the removal of discriminatory registration provisions from the Indian Act, as well as the adoption of Bill S-3, to address outstanding sex-based inequities in registration.
Bill S-3 refers to an Act, passed in December 2017, that the initial purpose was to fix the sex-based discriminatory registration provisions within the Indian Act. The Bill S-3 amendments to the registration provisions of the Indian Act were designed to address the section 15 Charter violations identified in Descheneaux. The registration provisions, which took effect pursuant to Bill S-3 clause 15(1), resolved the inequality to some of the grandchildren of Indigenous women who were denied their status as a result of the 1985 amendments to the Indian Act.
NWAC will continue to hold the government accountable for its commitments to all Indigenous women and will work to ensure that non-status women and their descendants who lost status due to discrimination in the Indian Act are included in consultations on Bill C-38, tabled in 2021. NWAC will continue to work toward the repeal and replacement of the Indian Act’s membership sections.