First Nations Citizens Living On Reserve Will Have Access To The Canadian Human Rights Act

Media
Release
FSIN Communications Unit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 27, 2010

(Saskatoon, SK)  Since 1977, First Nations citizens living on reserves have been denied access to filing complaints of discriminations through the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) due to the Indian Act. This was known as Section 67 of the CHRA.  As of June 19, 2011, the CHRA will apply to First Nations living and working on reserve. 

On Monday, January 31, 2011, the FSIN will be hosting a First Nations Forum on the Repeal of Section 67 of the CHRA at the Saskatoon Inn beginning at 9am. 

“First Nations living and working on reserve have been prevented from filing complaints or discrimination in any cases that involved a decision made under the Indian Act,” says FSIN Vice Chief Morley Watson. “As of mid June that will change and all First Nations citizens will have access to human rights protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act.”

The CHRA is a federal legislation that protects people from discrimination.  Any person, including First Nations person, working for the federal government, or a federally regulated employer or service provider can seek protection under the CHRA.  In December 2006, the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Development introduced legislation into the House of Commons to repeal Section 67.  The repeal of Section 67, provided a three year transition of Band councils to prepare for these changes.

“There are so many questions that need to be answered about this new human rights legislation,” says Watson.  “Questions like, how will our treaty rights be affected? How will our First Nations governments be affected? These kinds of questions will be answered at this upcoming forum.”

During this one day session, representatives from the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Assembly of First Nations and the FSIN will provide information on the changes to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.  The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of the Treaties, as well as the promotion, the protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago. 

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For More Information Please Contact:
Cherish Francis, Communication Officer
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