November 9, 2017
Statement on Proposed Amendments to Bill S-3 – An Act to Amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration)
Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh stated, “On behalf of the Treaty#3 leadership and our citizens of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty#3 I would like to provide support for the consideration of amendments of Bill S-3. The Indian Act of 1876 was a tool of assimilation which gave arbitrary control over First Nation identity”.
From time immemorial, First Nations have had their own systems of determining citizenship among their nations. These systems were comprehensive and diverse, representing the principles and values of each nation which included hereditary systems, clan systems of governance, matrilineal and/or patrilineal kinship based systems.
In 2012, Grand Council Treaty#3 requested the commissioning of a research report on Citizenship for the review of Treaty#3 leadership. At that time there were a number of recommendations made for consideration.
Ogichidaa Kavanaugh stated, “I would like the Federal Minister to provide the necessary resources for our Nation to undertake dialogue and consultation with all of our communities, allow us to create a Commissioner for Citizenship tasked to develop a Citizenship Framework which would establish mechanisms that would fully recognize, reconcile and implement First Nations jurisdiction. A Citizenship Law is the reassertion of a nation’s right to determine who their citizens are, consistent with any other nation. This is central to our treaties”.
Bill S-3 amends the Indian Act to provide new entitlements to registration in the Indian Registrar in response to the decision in Descheneaux c. Canada that was rendered by the Superior Court of Quebec on August 3, 2015, and to provide that the persons who become so entitled also have the right to have their name entered in a Band List maintained by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
For more information:
Gary Allen, Executive Director