15 February

Kahnawake, February 15th, 2019 – Quebec Native Women was founded in 1974 to fight discrimination against Indigenous women in the Indian Act. 45 years later, despite repeated changes to the Indian Act over the years, this discrimination persists.

Last month, the UN Human Rights Committee concluded that the Indian Act of Canada violates Indigenous women’s right to equality by not granting them the same ability to pass on their status to their descendants than Indigenous men. It is high time for the Government of Canada to respect the human rights of Indigenous women and put an end to this discrimination once and for all! Yet he continues to insist on consulting rather than acting.

“It’s just that ironic. The federal government has fought until the Supreme Court to challenge the fact that the duty to consult includes the legislative phase, but when it is time to respect Indigenous women’s right to equality, he insists that he must first consult. Yet human rights are non-negotiable! “- Viviane Michel, president of QNW

It is therefore with the purpose of denouncing the persistence of discrimination against Indigenous women and their descendants in the Indian Act that Quebec Native Women will hold, on February 16th, 2019, the Public Forum Sha’tetiónkwate at the Nouvel Hotel in Montreal.

The Forum will host a lecture by Alanis Obomsawin, renowned panelists who will discuss the harmful impacts of discrimination in the Indian Act and the stories of women who suffer the consequences of this discriminatory law. Then a press conference at which Viviane Michel, president of QNW, will explain the reasons why QNW has recently launched a petition asking for concrete actions of the government to address immediately this problem that has been lasting for too long.

A Legal Information Clinic will be held in conjunction with the Forum, to allow people who are wondering about their eligibility for Indian Status to ask their questions to persons who are knowledgeable about the issues in this legislation.

The day will end with a March for Equality to claim the right to equality of Indigenous women in the public space. The start of the walk will be given at 2:30 pm at Norman-Bethune Park (at the corner of Guy and Maisonneuve streets). The march will end at Cabot Square with speeches and musical performances.

“Since its founding QNW fights to defend the rights of Indigenous women, and denounces discrimination in the Indian Act. Once again, we will mobilize to challenge and face the government! “- Viviane Michel, president of QNW