Grand chief supports amendments to Indian Act
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.
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