Chiefs: Chiefs of Saskatchewan
FSIN Executive and Executive Council
First Nations have always had the inherent right to determine our citizenship. The right to determine ‘who belongs’ is at the heart of sovereignty. On behalf of the FSIN I had the opportunity to present at the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANO) April 20, 2010 in Ottawa. The AANO was convened so that First Nations could provide their recommendations on the proposed amendments as part of INAC’s ‘exploratory process’.
On March 11, 2010 Minister Chuck Strahl introduced Bill C-3, An Act to promote gender equity in Indian registration in the House of Commons. The Bill represents Canada’s response to the McIvor v. Canada court ruling. The proposed amendments (Bill C-3) reintroduce s. 6(1)(a) and a new subsection s. 6(1)(c).1 that, according to INAC, will ensure that eligible grandchildren of women who lost status as a result of marrying non-Indians will become eligible for registration.
As Chief of the FSIN I called upon Parliament to engage in a process that is strongly grounded in a nation-building approach. Bill C-3 is before us because government had to respond. That response is one that may not meet the needs of First Nations people in a way that respects our inherent rights as self-determining peoples and considers our future generations.
If you require further clarification or information on this matter please do not hesitate to contact the Chief’s office at (306) 956-6916.
Chief Guy Lonechild
FEDERATION OF SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN NATIONS
Indian Governments of Saskatchewan