Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

June 17, 2011 12:09 ET

Legislation Extending Human Rights to First Nations Comes Into Force

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 17, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced today the final step in concluding a historic piece of legislation that will ensure First Nations people have the same protection of their human rights as other Canadians. As of June 18, 2011, any decisions made or actions taken by band councils and the federal government, made under or pursuant to the Indian Act, will be subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Historically, section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act had effectively shielded the provisions of the Indian Act from the application of the Canadian Human Rights Act. In June 2008, the Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act received Royal Assent. Although the resulting changes applied fully to the Government of Canada, a grace period of three years was provided in the legislation to give First Nations additional time to prepare.

"This final step in the repeal of section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act ensures that First Nation people have the same human rights protections as all Canadians," said Minister Duncan. "This builds on our Government's ongoing commitment to equal protection of rights for all Canadians. We strongly believe that all Canadians deserve access to, and protection of human rights regardless of where they live. In the last three years, we have passed the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act and we continue to work on matrimonial real property rights legislation."

Further information on the administration of the Canadian Human Rights Act can be found on the website of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Backgrounder – Repeal of Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    819-997-0002

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    819-953-1160