A new U.N. report calls on Canada to amend legislation that potentially strips “tens of thousands” of Indigenous women of Indian status for marrying non-Indigenous men.
While Indigenous women lose their status under Canada’s Indian Act, which was passed in 1876, their children cannot inherit their mother’s heritage status.
Indigenous men, however, can because their designation is not affected no matter who they marry.
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women said in its report the issue stems from “disrespect of indigenous people’s fundamental right to self-identification.”
The U.N. wants Canada to change the legislation, so that both Indigenous men and women have the same rights of inheritance status.