UBCIC Objects to Passage of Bill C-3 without Amendments

News Release - November 26, 2010
On Tuesday November 22nd, Bill C-3, Gender Equity in Indian Act, passed through the House of Commons and was quickly introduced in the Senate for consideration on November 23rd, passed Second Reading on November 25th and has been sent to the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights. The Bill was created in response to direction given by the BC Court of Appeal in the McIvor v. Canada (Indian Registrar), but in its current form continues to perpetuate discrimination against Indigenous women and their children in the Indian Act regarding citizenship.

Chief David Walkem, a member of the UBCIC Bill C-31 Working Group stated “The Union of BC Indian Chiefs continues to support constructive and inclusive amendments to Bill C-3. Many people, organizations and Members of Parliament attempted to work with the federal government to have Bill C-3 reflect the true intent of the McIvor court decision. By proceeding with the Bill, the federal government has chosen to continue the unjust discrimination against the next generation of First Nations families and communities.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs said “I am absolutely astonished and appalled that the federal government is pushing C-3 so rapidly, yet still has not announced a funding and services strategy for First Nations to cope with the great influx of an estimated minimum of 45,000 people who will become eligible for Indian Status.” He concluded “Bill C-3 does not acknowledge our Indigenous laws which have been affirmed by the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and which ultimately supersede the Indian Act. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs will continue to keep the federal government accountable to our families and communities and work on the issues surrounding Indigenous citizenship.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
(604) 684-0231 

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.