Grand chief sup­ports amend­ments to In­dian Act

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - LOCAL NEWS -

The grand chief of Treaty 3 has come out in favour of amend­ments to the In­dian Act that would elim­i­nate sexbased in­equities in reg­is­tra­tion.

Ogichi­daa Fran­cis Ka­vanaugh said in a state­ment on Thurs­day, Nov. 9 that he wants to pro­vide sup­port for the con­sid­er­a­tion of amend­ments to Bill S-3 on be­half of Treaty 3 lead­er­ship and cit­i­zens of the Anishi­naabe Na­tion in Treaty 3.

“The In­dian Act of 1876 was a tool of as­sim­i­la­tion which gave ar­bi­trary con­trol over First Na­tion iden­tity,” he said.

Bill S-3 would amend the In­dian Act to pro­vide new en­ti­tle­ments to reg­is­tra­tion in the In­dian Reg­is­trar in re­sponse to the Desch­e­neaux v. Canada Su­pe­rior Court of Que­bec de­ci­sion in 2015. The per­sons who be­come en­ti­tled would also have the right to have their name en­tered in a Band List main­tained by the Depart­ment of In­dige­nous Af­fairs and North­ern De­vel­op­ment.

In 2012, Grand Coun­cil Treaty 3 re­quested the com­mis­sion­ing of a re­search re­port on cit­i­zen­ship with a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions for con­sid­er­a­tion. Ka­vanaugh said he wanted the fed­eral min­is­ter to pro­vide re­sources for the Na­tion to con­sult with its com­mu­ni­ties and cre­ate a cit­i­zen­ship com­mis­sioner that would de­velop a cit­i­zen­ship frame­work that would 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,” he said.

First Na­tions have had their own sys­tems of de­ter­min­ing cit­i­zen­ship among their na­tions “from time im­memo­rial”, the press re­lease said.

REG CLAY­TON/DAILY MINER AND NEWS

Grand Coun­cil Treaty #3 Ogichi­daa Fran­cis Ka­vanaugh leads the grand en­try to open the Win­ter Pow­wow at St. Thomas Aquinas high school in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

File photo/Daily Miner and News

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