Policy Sectors

Legal Affairs and Justice

NWAC envisions a gender-equal society that provides equal circumstances, conditions, and opportunities for all Indigenous people.

Our goals are to:

  • Amendments to Bill S-3 must be made to ensure sex-based discrimination and other issues in the Indian Act are fully addressed.
  • NWAC’s minimum standards and recommendations must be made to eliminate discrimination under the registration provisions of the Indian Act.
  • UNDRIP must be fully implemented, conforming Canadian law with the declaration, while maintaining the rights and interests of Indigenous people.


The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) works on a variety of issues impacting communities including important research on the Indian Act and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP).

The Indian Act was created to assimilate Indigenous Peoples into their communities. Amendments have been purposefully complex, confusing, and enforcing sex-based inequities. In December 2017, Bill S-3 was passed to fix sex-based discrimination registration provisions within the Indian Act. Known problems within the Indian Act were fixed, but several discriminatory issues remain unaddressed. NWAC’s recent research on the impacts of Bill S-3 identifies further amendments needed for the Act to fully eliminate discrimination against Indigenous women. NWAC will continue to advocate for upholding the rights of Indigenous women.

With the passing of Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, Canada has committed to fully implement UNDRIP. NWAC will continue to advocate to ensure Canada conforms all of its laws with the declaration, while upholding the rights and interests of Indigenous People.