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First native women - Essay Example

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Between the years, 1971 and 1974 three First Nations women initiated three separate cases that challenged the subsection 12 (1) (b) of the Indian act. The three court cases argued that the subsection 12 (1) (b) violated the clause of equality that is in the 1960 Canadian Bill of…
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First native women

Download file to see previous pages... The basis for Lavell and Bedard for their claim of discrimination was how Aboriginal women would lose their Indian status when a non-Indian or a non-registered Indian married them. In addition, it meant that Lavell’s children would be deprived of their Indian status. Lavell argued that Section 12 (1) (b) discriminated the women gender, and the sections should be repealed, in relation to the 1960 Bill of Rights (5). Lavell’s case was the first that dealt with discrimination because of sex. Because of these discriminatory sections, many Indian women were denied their heritage, and not by the will, but because of an archaic law. Lavell did not like how the acts that were set to govern the Indian reserves were being operated, whereby it stated who is not and who is acknowledged as an Indian. Lavell was furious about how the Indian Act allowed the male Indian, who happened to marry out retained their status and were able to pass it on to their non-Indian wives and to their children.
The male Indian wives, even though they sometimes did not have First Nation ancestry; they were entitled to full status. The result of the discriminatory sections was the practical ostracism of more than ninety thousand women, their children and their spouses from their societies and traditional homelands (Lavell 7). It caused great emotional, psychological and economic suffering to the affected people. Lavell was not pleased with this outcome because when she married she was sent a notice submitting that she was no longer identified as an Indian as stated in Section 12 (1) (b) of the Indian Act. It is because she was a no native who had married David Lavell a native. These grave effects for enfranchised First Nation women made Lavell go to court to challenge the Indian Act.
Lavell’s claim was supported by Bedard, who joined her in 1973 when she appealed for her case after losing it at trial. Lavell had lost her case on the basis that the Canadian Bill of right ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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