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Canada Jeopardizes Credible Footing For National Inquiry By Delaying On Eliminating Sex Discrimination From The Indian Act

June 23, 2016 – Sharon McIvor, the plaintiff in McIvor v. Canada, a constitutional challenge to the sex discrimination in Canada’s Indian Act, and a petitioner to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, announced today that the Government of Canada has asked the United Nations Human Rights Committee to suspend consideration of her petition. Ms. McIvor’s petition claims that the continuing sex discrimination in the status registration provisions of the Indian Act violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Thousands of Aboriginal women and their descendants are still not able to hold and transmit Indian status on an equal footing with their male counterparts. McIvor seeks full elimination of all remaining sex discrimination.

Canada has asked the UN Committee to suspend its consideration of Ms. McIvor’s petition on the grounds that it plans to consult further on the elimination of the sex discrimination from the Indian Act as a part of a “larger ongoing process” regarding a new nation‑to‑nation relationship. Canada also indicates that the equality rights of Indigenous women are a priority concern, demonstrated by Canada’s commitment to a national inquiry on murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls.

In a statement released today, Sharon McIvor calls on Canada to drop its request for a suspension, withdraw its opposition to her petition, acknowledge that the sex discrimination in the Indian Act violates the equality rights of women, and undertake publicly to remove all the sex discrimination from the Indian Act as soon as possible.

In her statement, Sharon McIvor says: “The national inquiry and any consultations on a new nation-to-nation relationship can only start on a credible footing if the Government of Canada begins by publicly undertaking to eliminate the sex discrimination in the Indian Act immediately. Without this, Indigenous women do not begin these processes as equals.”

The Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action announced that they stand with Sharon McIvor in calling for an immediate end to the sex discrimination in the Indian Act.

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About The Native Women’s Association of Canada
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is a National Indigenous Organization representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls, transgender, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit. An aggregate of Indigenous women’s organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canada societies.

À propos de l'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada

L'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada (AFAC) est une organisation autochtone nationale qui représente la voix politique des femmes, des filles, des transgenres, des bispirituels et des personnes de sexe différent au Canada, y compris les membres des Premières nations vivant dans les réserves et hors réserve, les Indiens inscrits et non inscrits, les personnes privées de leurs droits, les Métis et les Inuits. Regroupant des organisations de femmes autochtones de tout le pays, l'AFAC a été fondée dans le but collectif d'améliorer, de promouvoir et de favoriser le bien-être social, économique, culturel et politique des femmes autochtones au sein de leurs communautés respectives et des sociétés canadiennes.