Indian Act


Bill C-3, also known as the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act, developed as a response to the McIvor v. Canada decision in British Columbia which found that some of the current registration provisions of the Indian Act were in violation of section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on gender. The purpose of Bill C-3 was to expand registration to the grandchildren of women who had lost their status as a result of marriage to a non-Indian. To be eligible for status under Bill C-3, three criteria need to be met: ------------------------- "1. The individual’s grandmother had lost status due to marriage to a non-Indian 2. The individual has a parent who is registered, or entitled to be registered as an Indian under section 6 (2) 3. The individual was born on or after September 4, 1951 Should all of these criteria be met, an individual would be eligible for status under this new bill. Bill C-3 aimed to correct the gender discrimination from the 1985 amendments, commonly known as Bill C-31."

Though the intent of Bill C-3 was to eliminate discrimination towards the grandchildren of women who had previously had their status revoked due to marriage to a non-Indian, it did not completely eradicate the gendered implications of the 1985 amendments. Bill C-3 continues to perpetuate the paternalistic nature of the Indian Act by limiting the scope of individuals who can qualify under the provisions outlined. If an individual was born prior to September 4, 1951, they are still denied status unless their lineage is traced through paternal lines. This type of blatant gender discrimination still exists within the Indian Act today and has yet to be corrected. Bill C-3 also created a new form of discrimination by requiring women to have non-status children in order to have their status upgraded from 6 (2) to 6 (1). Women who have status children, or no children at all are ineligible for the status change. This has created even further divisions within communities and creates a situation in which an already vulnerable population is being further marginalized by colonial adjudication.
Sub Event
Bill C-3: Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act