Canadian Human Rights Commission

Canadian Human Rights Commission

January 29, 2008 11:00 ET

Canadian Human Rights Commission Releases a Special Report Calling for Repeal of Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 29, 2008) - In its special report Still a Matter of Rights released today, the Canadian Human Rights Commission reiterates its call to Parliament to repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The legislation is before Parliament; the Commission is encouraged by this. Now is the time to pass this legislation. It is still a matter of rights.

"Immediate repeal is vital. It will bring First Nations and their citizens closer to the full measure of equality to which they are entitled," said Jennifer Lynch, Q. C., Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. "Yet repeal is only the first step. Upon repeal we will engage First Nations and other stakeholders, as we lead the development of a human rights system that is aligned with First Nations cultures and specific needs."

Section 67 denies First Nations people living on or off reserve from filing a complaint with the Commission relating to any action arising from or pursuant to the Indian Act. It was included in the Canadian Human Rights Act when it was first drafted in 1977. The reason given then was to allow the government time to address issues regarding sexual discrimination against women who married non-Indian men. It was to be a temporary measure. However, more than 30 years later, First Nations are still awaiting access to full human rights protection.

Still a Matter of Rights is a follow-up to the Commission's initial report A Matter of Rights issued in 2005. This new report takes into account many of the views expressed by stakeholders to ensure that human rights protection is introduced in a way that respects the rights and interests of First Nations.

The report also calls for a transition period of eighteen to thirty months and appropriate resources for both the Commission and First Nations communities, to assure success.

Report and backgrounder available on our website at

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