Canadian Human Rights Commission

Canadian Human Rights Commission

December 13, 2006 15:46 ET

Canadian Human Rights Commission to Hold Discussions With Aboriginal Organizations to Implement a Change to the Canadian Human Rights Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 13, 2006) - The Canadian Human Rights Commission will hold discussions with Aboriginal organizations across Canada on the process for implementing a change to the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Government moved today to repeal section 67 of the Act. This change would allow First Nations people to file complaints of discrimination related to the Indian Act.

"First Nations people are entitled to full protection from discrimination, like all Canadians,"stated Commissioner David Langtry. "Now that section 67 is being repealed, the Commission will be working closely with First Nations communities on how best to implement the change and ensure that we move forward as quickly as possible."

The Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs today introduced a bill in Parliament that will repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Section 67 excludes people living on reserves from filing a complaint with the Commission relating to any action arising from or pursuant to the Indian Act. As a result, First Nations people living on reserves have been denied the ability to file human rights complaints in many circumstances.

Section 67 was included in the Canadian Human Rights Act when it was first drafted in 1977. The reason given at the time was to allow the government time to address issues regarding discrimination against women who married non-Indian men. It was to be a temporary measure, but remained in the Act until now.

The Commission has long argued that repealing section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is a question of fundamental rights. In its October 2005 report A Matter of Rights, the Commission highlighted the need for this change to the Act.

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