Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

August 24, 2009 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Launches Engagement on Amendments to the Registration Provisions of the Indian Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today announced the federal government's engagement plan for the development of legislative amendments to the registration provisions of the Indian Act in the wake of the landmark ruling of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in the Sharon McIvor case.

Throughout the late summer and early fall, INAC officials will be meeting with National Aboriginal Organizations and holding engagement sessions across the country. To help in the engagement process, a discussion paper has been developed to explain how the federal government intends to move forward following the McIvor decision and to invite views on the approach.

"We have to act swiftly to meet the Court of Appeal's ruling to amend the Indian Act," said Minister Strahl. "Over the next few months we will be engaging with willing Aboriginal organizations to both provide information and seek input on a legislative solution to the issue outlined by the decision of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia."

Spurred by a civil lawsuit that Sharon McIvor launched in October 1989, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia ruled on April 6, 2009, that certain registration provisions of the Indian Act are unconstitutional as they violate the equality provision of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court suspended its declaration for 12 months - to April 6, 2010 - to give Parliament time to amend the Indian Act.

Views and comments on the proposed legislative approach can be submitted in writing before November 13, 2009. For more information on how to submit written comments, or to obtain a copy of the discussion paper, please consult INAC's website at : http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/br/is/vor-eng.asp

This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    819-997-0002
    or
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    819-953-1160