Aboriginal Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: Canadian Human Rights Act Review


This research paper was done in 2000 for the Native Women’s Association of Canada, in connection with the Canadian Human Rights Act Review. It looks at the development of opposition to s.12(1)(b) among Indian women and the steps individual women, as well as NWAC and Indian Rights for Indian Women, have taken to force change in this legislation. It notes that the Lavell and Lovelace cases, advocacy by women’s organizations, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms resulted in Bill C-31 which reinstated status to Indian women who had lost it under s.12(1)(b), but also notes that features of the legislation still left a legacy of discrimination. Analysis of jurisprudence related to s.67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act shows that this section blocks many from accessing the CHRA to address this race and sex discrimination. The Report concludes with a series of recommendations to the CHRA Review.