Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

December 15, 2010 16:47 ET

Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act Receives Royal Assent

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2010) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians announced today that Bill C-3, Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act has received Royal Assent. This bill amends provisions of the Indian Act that the Court of Appeal for British Columbia found to be unconstitutional in the case of McIvor v. Canada.

"I am very pleased to announce that Bill C-3 has received Royal Assent" said the Minister. "This important legislation received all party support in the House of Commons and I commend my Parliamentary colleagues for working with us to address gender discrimination in the Indian Act and to respond to the requirements of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia."

Bill C-3 will ensure that eligible grand-children of women who lost status as a result of marrying non-Indian men will become entitled to registration (Indian status). As a result of this legislation approximately 45,000 persons will become newly entitled to registration when the Bill comes into force. The Governor in Council will announce the date at which the Act will come into force in the coming weeks.

Generally speaking, the key criteria to be newly entitled to registration are: 

  • Did your grandmother lose her Indian status as a result of marrying a non-Indian?
  • Is one of your parents registered, or entitled to be registered, under sub-section 6(2) of the Indian Act?
  • Were you, or your siblings, born on or after September 4, 1951?

Individuals may seek legal advice on their own situation.

The Government of Canada recognizes that there are a number of broader issues associated with Indian registration, Band membership and citizenship that go beyond the scope of Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act. Officials have been working on the launch of an exploratory process that will more closely examine these broader issues and involve the participation of First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations, groups and individuals across the country. With the passage of Bill C-3, the exploratory process will now be launched. Activities under the exploratory process are expected to take place over a period of one year, ending in December 2011.

Information on the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act, as well as information on the exploratory process and on the registration process can be found on INAC's website at:

Please also see:

Backgrounder: The Exploratory Process on Indian Registration, Band Membership & Citizenship

Backgrounder: Registration Process for Bill C-3 Applicants

Further information on Bill C-3 can be found on INAC's website.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada