I don't know how we're going to squeeze 500 years into 10 minutes, but we'll give it a try.
This has been a long-standing issue ever since the Europeans first arrived here in our part of the world, the world that we call Turtle Island. This is not something new. It didn't start with the imposition of the Indian Act. It goes way beyond that. Way beyond means the imposition of the cultural beliefs, the language, and all the other things that have been brought here and have been imposed on us.
We're amazed we're still here. We still speak our language. We're still able to talk about the things that our ancestors passed on to us and made sure that we did not forget so that the coming generations would also not forget. That's what makes it a very challenging time for us in a period in which we need to again remind some fresh faces, some new faces who have come into government, about what's happened, and in particular, more specifically about Kahnawake.
We consider you younger brothers and sisters because we've been here for countless ages. Even recent research into archeology and findings on the Island of Montreal show that we go back 12,000 years. We didn't come from New York State and places like that, as they claim. There was no New York State back then. In any event, we just want to make it clear about our presence here today. This is not the first time for me. I was first elected in 1970, then 1978, and I retired in 2004. I came back again last year. It's been a long time. From that time until now, it's been the same struggle.
Previous to my being on council, previous to my being born back in 1949, there was a problem back then also, and our community has fought very selfishly for the jurisdiction, for the need to establish what we believe is our way of identifying our people, and our way of allowing people to reside among us in our community. It's always been a very controversial issue. It's been a fight.
One of the things I'd like to raise is the fact that this government is talking about nation to nation. Nations don't impose their will or their ways or their thinking on other nations. If we are to allow that to happen, then we do it of our own free will, and we have not. We will not be persuaded to do otherwise, although it causes us some very uncomfortable situations. We've been accused of racism. We've been accused of all kinds of things. Because of the fact we've had to take this stand, that's what we have to do. We have no choice. That's our goal, to be able to maintain the stand, if you will.
I have to be very blunt and up front about it: no committee, no provincial or federal government, no court is going to impose its will on us. That comes not just from me and my fellow chief here, Kahsennenhawe. It comes from the community. That's the stand we have. That's why we're here to provide you with this information. It's not necessarily to ask you for anything to help the circumstances, but perhaps your understanding and your co-operation is what's needed. Even if you can't co-operate, then at least understand.
I would like to have Kahsennenhawe take it from here and give you some insight into more specific issues.
First I want to speak specifically about Bill .
As the grand chief mentioned, the matter of membership and registration we feel is one that's integral to governance matters for first nations. The fact is there has been no meaningful consultation. We're aware there are going to be two phases, but the amendments are going to happen, and then there is going to be consultation after the fact, which, in our opinion, is a serious breach of Canada's duty to consult first nations and to accommodate.
The proposed amendments to the Indian Act registration criteria in response to the Descheneaux decision raise extreme concerns for Kahnawake. We have our own membership criteria and registration of who could be a status Indian.
It goes so far that now it's exacerbating the problems that we see in our community. We're going to have more people coming to our community with band cards who want to belong. They want ownership of land. They want to be part of the community, but they might never meet our criteria of who we recognize as Kahnawake, who are Haudenosaunee, who are Mohawks of Kahnawake.
There is a clear distinction, in our opinion, of who could be Mohawk, or identified as such, and what Canada's registration for status is. There is a big discrepancy there.
With regard to the specific legislation, we're aware that the amendments are targeting three main groups: siblings, cousins, and omitted minors. While the Descheneaux decision drove the proposed Bill amendments that are going to happen in February for siblings and cousins, the amendments pertaining to omission of minor children extended beyond the decision that was rendered in the court. This unilateral revision to registration criteria, again without consultation of first nations on this integral matter, goes even deeper and is another breach of Canada's duty to consult and accommodate.
The legislation lacks any provision for opting out. As the chief mentioned, we don't feel that any government or any court can decide who can be our people. That should be the sole jurisdiction of first nations. Again, the effects on membership are definitely going to impact on our right to self-determination.
The absence of some kind of provision or mechanism is going to increase what we call the discrepancy population. Kahnawake has its own membership list. The federal government maintains a list for the Mohawks of Kahnawake. That population is going to continue to grow after the Bill amendments, and, as I mentioned earlier, cause further problems. There is no additional money that is going to be promised to our communities to accommodate these people.
Again, as the chief mentioned earlier, in terms of ethnocultural erosion, we want to ensure that we protect for our future generations what it means to be a Kahnawake, what it means to speak our language, and what it means to know how to preserve our identity as a distinct people. When you have generations so removed, who have no ties to our community, no connection to those lands or to our ancestors, but who might have had an ancestor a long time ago, and still feel that they should go and be a part of that community....
We're seeing, as a result of the CAP-Daniels decision, that there are now groups that are popping up all over the country that want the benefits that go along with being a status Indian. However, they don't really understand what it means to be born into nationhood, with those rights, and to have that citizenship. To a lot of people it's “Well, I have a tax exemption card now—free this, free education.” As I said, they don't have that understanding and that sense of identity that we're trying to protect and ensure.
We're fearful of the ramifications that Bill is going to have not only on Kahnawake as a community, but on other first nations that are in a revitalization process after the Indian Act, after the residential schools. We're trying to rebuild our nations, and for Canada to unilaterally keep expanding the registration criteria of who can be a status Indian is going to further erode our identity as first nations people, the real authentic Haudenosaunee of this land.
That's all I have to say.
My name is Sharon McIvor. I'm appearing at this committee for the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, which is a B.C. group of chiefs that has been in existence since the mid-1970s, and whose major focus is aboriginal title right and treaty rights.
Today I'm just speaking specifically to Bill , the amendment to the Indian Act. You have to understand that status under the Indian Act is exclusively the jurisdiction of the federal government. It's in 91(24), so it's a relationship or recognition of who the federal government recognizes as Indians. It has nothing to do with self-determination or self-government. Those issues are out there to be discussed at another time and place.
Up until 1985, the Indian Act was blatantly discriminatory against women. Lots of pressure was brought, but mainly the Charter of Rights and Freedoms kicked in on April 17, 1985, and forced the government to deal with that ongoing discrimination.
With Bill C-31, there was an agreement at that time between Minister Crombie and his department that although he wanted all the discrimination gone, I understand that it was too expensive, so he allowed the second-generation cut-off and said that those guys could come and fight for themselves.
I took up the challenge. In July 1989 I started a case that was called the McIvor case about the ongoing discrimination in the Indian Act.
In 2010, after court decisions, the government got together to do Bill . Bill C-3 continued with the discrimination. We've been here before and done this before because of the ongoing discrimination, and the government decided it was okay to continue to discriminate against aboriginal women and their descendants.
Looking at Bill , it's exactly the same thing.
I can tell you what happened in 1985. The government threw out this thing to say that they had to consult with the people about whether or not they should end this discrimination.
From my perspective, and for most people who believe in human rights, discrimination isn't negotiable. As the Government of Canada, it's your responsibility to make sure your legislation complies with the charter, so you can't go out and ask all of those aboriginal organizations, which are mainly led by males, if it is okay to continue to discriminate against the Indian women. I can tell you that most of them will say, yes. We know, because in Jeannette Corbière-Lavell's case, the Assembly of First Nations and their allies were sitting against her with the government. In other cases we've taken, those male-dominated organizations sit on the other side.
It's your fiduciary responsibility to make sure that your legislation, no matter what you pass, complies with the charter. Bill does not. What Bill S-3 does is it continues the discrimination.
I have a petition with the UN Human Rights Committee to say that Bill , the McIvor amendment, did not take all of the discrimination out of the Indian Act. That's sitting there. It was to be heard in July 2016. The Department of Justice put in a request to the UN committee to suspend the hearing of my petition, because of the bill—now —that will bring gender equality to the Indian Act in February 3, 2017.
I handed a package to the clerk. There is a media release in which promises that. I also have in the package the request to the UN committee by the Government of Canada, and in several places they said that by February 3, 2017, all known discrimination will be out of the Indian Act.
They knew it and they could do it, and then they were going to do a second phase, consulting nation to nation with the aboriginal people. The only thing that I'm saying today is yes to the consultation. You cannot consult about ending discrimination. You cannot consult about asking somebody else's permission if it's okay to continue to discriminate against me.
It's totally unacceptable and the position that you're taking as parliamentarians is really untenable. I absolutely can't understand why you're doing it. Discrimination is contrary to the charter and you know and I know, and you've heard probably from a lot of people, that there's still discrimination in the Indian Act. You have the ability to scrap the bill and do something that's going to take all of the discrimination out.
In 1985 the Government of Canada did something that helped take care of some of the bands' problems. The bands are not nations. The bands are an artificial construct by the Government of Canada, but what they did is they separated the membership and status. Section 10 allows absolutely every band in Canada to decide who can be a member. They cannot take membership away and the women who married out were to be put back into their birth bands, but second generation can be left out. You don't have to give membership to them. They separated that out.
The Government of Canada is determining who is an Indian and who do I have responsibility for and who do I have a relationship with. Absolutely every band in Canada has the right to make a law that determines who their membership is.
I just don't want the waters to be muddy there. What we're looking at is the Government of Canada deciding whether they're going to recognize me as an Indian. The other piece that's really important is that when I was born, I had birthrights. Outside of the human rights that every human is born with, I have aboriginal rights that come from my heritage. Those cannot be defined away. I cannot be discriminated against so I cannot exercise those rights, and recognition of me as an aboriginal person is one of those rights.
When we're looking at what you're doing with Bill , what you did with Bill , what you did with Bill C-31, you violated my rights as an aboriginal person. My plea to you is you can clean it up. If you look at in May 2010 the House of Commons committee reviewing Bill brought to the House an amendment to Bill which for the most part alleviated all of the concerns about the ongoing discrimination based on gender. That was rejected.
Actually, it wasn't rejected. The Speaker ruled most of it out of order and it was left in one piece, but you know how to do it. It's there. I put that in the package as well. It's a two-pager and it will alleviate most of the discrimination, all of the known discrimination. There are some things still there that need to be fixed, but for the most part it's doable and that's your fiduciary responsibility. You cannot continue to make legislation that has known discrimination in it. It's your fiduciary responsibility to take it all out. That's what the charter is all about.
Hello. My name is Jeremy Matson. I would like to thank the Algonquin people for allowing me to speak on their traditional territory. I would also like to thank Mr. Descheneaux, Ms. Yantha, Ms. Sharon McIvor, her son Jacob, Ms. Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, Ms. Bédard, Ms. Lavell, Mary Two-Axe Earley, and many others who continue to advance or who have advanced indigenous peoples' rights here in Canada.
Currently, I'm registered under subsection 6(2) of the Indian Act under Bill , the McIvor bill, which is the Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act. I'm a Squamish Nation member and I have direct ancestral connections to the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and other Coast Salish nations.
I am married to my wife Taryn Matson, née Moore. We have two children: Iris Matson, who is eight years old, and August Matson, who is five years old.
I am one of many grandsons of Nora Johnston and Vino Matson. My grandparents were married in 1927, and because of her marriage to my non-aboriginal grandfather, my grandmother was commuted under the 1927 Indian Act and remained disentitled to her identity.
My father, Eugene Matson, was one of seven children born to my grandparents Nora and Vino between the years 1928 and 1942. My grandparents had approximately 30 grandchildren. We'll go into the effects of the upcoming Bill on those 30 grandchildren.
My grandmother remained disentitled as a band member or as a status Indian—a recognized Indian under the Indian Act—until April 17, 1985. Under Bill C-31, the amendments back then, my grandmother was registered under paragraph 6(1)(c) of the Indian Act and registered as a band member under section 11 of the Indian Act under the Squamish Nation.
My grandmother's seven children were registered for the first time under subsection 6(2) of the Indian Act, Bill C-31.
Canada has imposed discriminatory legislation against my family for 90 years. The intergenerational impact is significant. Canada has denied our cultural identities and/or placed my family members in an inferior position compared with those in other indigenous families in Canada, and the sole reason is gender discrimination and its adverse impacts.
I'll go a little bit into the nuts and bolts of Bill as drafted and its shortcomings and the way it affects my family.
I will be potentially entitled to paragraph 6(1)(c.2) registration under the proposed amendments. I'm going to go through my children's case. That means they'll be entitled to subsection 6(2) Indian status under this bill.
But there are a few inequalities in your tinkering with the Indian Act. You've created more problems—not you the INAN committee, but the drafters. I'll go through proposed paragraph 6(1)(c.4)—this is part of the Bill draft amendments—and show how my children meet some of these categories but will be left out from proposed paragraph 6(1)(c.4) Indian status.
The first category is for those for whom:
|one of their parents is entitled to be registered under paragraph (c.2)
That would be me, as my children meet that criterion—and then they qualify under item (ii) of that proposed paragraph 6(1)(c.4) if:
|their other parent is not entitled to be registered
That would be my wife.
Then item 6(1)(c.4)(iii) states, as its qualifying criterion:
|they were born before April 17, 1985, whether or not their parents were married to each other at the time of the birth, or they were born after April 16, 1985
My children meet that, and then it says:
| and their parents were married to each other at any time before April 17, 1985
My children do not meet that category, so they're not entitled under that item of proposed paragraph 6(1)(c.4).
The newly entitled under Bill —that means the generation below mine and descending generations from there, the newly entitled great-grandchildren or the second-generation cousins of my grandmother—the descendants of my grandmother, will be treated in a differential manner.
Some will be entitled to proposed subsection 6(2) Indian status, some to proposed subsection 6(1) Indian status under the Indian Act amendments in Bill .
In my submission, I broke down all 30 grandchildren and how their standings would fall under Bill . The first three grandchildren of my grandmother will not be entitled under this bill. They were not entitled under Bill , because they were born prior to September 4, 1951, and they will remain disentitled under proposed subsection 6(1) Indian status, and their descendants will, too.
I also broke down.... I don't know what version of my submission you have. The first-generation cousins, the grandchildren, are highlighted in red. Those would be the individuals who were married prior to April 17, 1985. They will be entitled to pass proposed subsection 6(1) Indian status to their children, and the remaining non-highlighted grandchildren, which I fall under, will only be able to pass proposed subsection 6(2) Indian status to their children.
There is going to be differential treatment of siblings and families. In my family, first-generation cousins are going to be left out or left with an inferior status.
On page 6, in a detailed chart for the INAN committee, I broke down how I, my family, and my children will be treated differently, in comparison to my first-generation cousins' families and their breakdown.
I would encourage this committee to look at that, as it could be a possible recommendation. If you are staying in all the four corners of Bill , and what Justice Masse has done with her decision in the Descheneaux case, my submissions and recommendations would stay within those four corners, but it would be nice to have everybody who was born prior to April 17, 1985 under proposed paragraph 6(1)(a) Indian status, as Ms. McIvor mentioned.
Not too long ago, on October 25, Canada went under review by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Canada is a treaty member of that particular United Nations committee, and Canada's review was in the 65th session. On November 18, only a couple of weeks ago, CEDAW, from the United Nations, with the report CEDAW/C/CAN/CO/8-9, called Canada out about this very bill, Bill . I provided that in there, but I didn't provide the reference and the web link. I forgot to put that in my submission.
Paragraph 12 of the report states that the committee:
||further notes that a new Bill [S-3] amending the Indian Act is currently being developed. However, the Committee remains concerned about continued discrimination against indigenous women, in particular regarding the transmission of Indian status, preventing them and their descendants from enjoying all the benefits related to such status.
In paragraph 13 the committee recommends that parliamentarians fix that.
This is the third CEDAW report that has announced to Canada to abolish or fix this discrimination. I currently have a petition before CEDAW about section 6 of the Indian Act and the relationship between the state and me as an individual, my children, my grandchildren, and my future descendants.
I also listed numerous other United Nations reports calling on Canada to abolish this, and I have provided links.
I'll now get to the the recommendations for Bill .
It would be nice for this committee to provide a recommendation for proposed paragraph 6(1)(a) Indian status for everybody born prior to April 17, 1985, and also to provide future amendments, because there are implications, too, about April 17, 1985 to the present day. It's not just between April 17, 1985 and back to 1876, and before, that that there was discrimination. We also have to go forward after that date.
Staying within the four corners of this bill, under proposed paragraph 6(1)(c.4) I recommend providing Indian status to all the newly entitled, meaning my children's generational level, and not create differences between first-generation cousins or siblings.
Recommendation two is to provide Indian status or entitlement for all those individuals born prior to September 4, 1951. As my family history clearly displays, I have three first-generation cousins who remain disentitled under Bill , even though CEDAW has recommended to Canada to fix all discrimination.
I don't think Canada can make Mohawks. How this gets to be reconciled is beyond me. We've tried to come up with ideas of putting them on a general list, and if they can pass through our criteria, then we'll welcome them into the community, but if not, well, you made them Indians.
As Sharon mentioned about the relationship between Canada and the band, you have created Indians, but in our opinion you cannot make Mohawks of Kahnawake. When, as the grand chief said, we took that first move in 1981 to rectify discrimination in the Indian Act against indigenous women, our women who married non-indigenous men lost their rights. We said that in order to rectify that, any Mohawk man who marries a non-native woman will also lose his rights and will have to leave the community. That was the only thing we had at that point.
Then the 1985 Indian Act amendments came in and tried to mitigate and rectify those issues, but the problems had already been created, and every single amendment that you guys make that tries to rectify....
I understand what she's saying. You can't consult on discrimination, but you can consult on how your decisions unilaterally impact on our communities.
As I said, we have criteria for how you can be recognized. We didn't do a section 10 because we have very strong principles. We talked early on about provisions in the Indian Act.
We're not voters. We don't like to vote. We talk about 2% of the Canadian population being able to change the whole government, but we have to have a double majority to hold a vote to make any kind of decision in our community. Where's the logic in that? How do you expect us to do some kind of takeover under section 10 when our community is adamantly and in principle against voting? It doesn't work for us.
Canada is taking the “one size fits all” approach again to rectify registration. That is our argument in saying that you're not considering the communities who have just self-asserted our own rules.
To us, identity and belonging are paramount to our existence as a people, and Canada's continuing to meddle in that. It is not your business. You have gone so far now, I think, in your authorities.... Maybe some of the other first nations across Canada think of Canada as the almighty father who has all the answers, but we say we were here long before you, and the answers lie in our communities. That's where these decisions should rest.
First of all, welcome to this committee.
I've listened very carefully to your presentations. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said, each and every one of you. I too had similar feelings when I was asked to sit on this committee, finally, and become the critic for aboriginal affairs, with this bill coming in as the first task. How do you improve basically archaic, colonial, paternalistic, discriminatory, and fundamentally racist legislation? I have a very difficult time with that.
I listened very carefully to you, Joe, when you talked about the imposition of legislation and jurisdiction, and nation to nation.
It reminded me of the 2004 case of Haida Nation v. British Columbia, in which the Supreme Court talked about reconciliation. The Supreme Court in that case said that the objective was to reconcile the pre-existing sovereignty of indigenous peoples with the assumed sovereignty of the crown. I think you hit on that point when you made your presentation.
I would like to ask you how you deal with the situation surrounding your way of doing things with respect to membership. The Canadian Human Rights Commission has supposedly stepped in. I don't know if that's the case. How do you deal with that?
Thank you for appearing before this committee today.
I tend to agree with a lot of what was said here today, but what I struggle with is that this is a very large country and we're dealing with this one issue as a pan-aboriginal issue because of the Indian Act.
The Indian Act was designed to control indigenous people across this country; we all know that. It's done a very good job of destroying communities. It destroyed my community. I'm the only first nation member of Parliament from Ontario.
From sitting here listening to witnesses testify either way about this piece of legislation, and other things we've heard here, the one thing that's clear to me is that certain communities are at different levels in terms of governing and in terms of capacity to control their own destiny.
This is my worry, and this is why I see the need for this change to the Indian Act. There are still communities that are so dependent upon the Indian Act that these changes will hopefully help these people—and hopefully we'll get the numbers from the department about where these people are coming from—so that they don't slip through the cracks.
They're at the very bottom of this country, and they need the support that comes from the Indian Act, because they don't have anything else. That's the reason I see the need for these changes, so that we bring them in and they have those benefits and protections.
But that's not what I see, going forward. I see our communities—and MP Gary Anandasangaree and I were with the Mississaugas where they signed an accord to co-operate and negotiate with the government as a nation. That's where we need to be going. Having an agreement over land, resources, and how that relationship is going to look is what first nations and other indigenous communities across this country, in my view, need to move towards.
But right now we're discussing Bill , and of course your community is in a different position. It's great to hear that perspective at this committee, but what would you suggest we do as the government in respect of this legislation, understanding that it's not going to affect just your community but is going to affect all those other communities?
I'm not saying that this is right. We have to get away from the pan-aboriginal approach to dealing with communities, because the Mohawks are very different from the Cree in northwestern Ontario or different from the Tsleil-Waututh in Vancouver. The way I explain it is that in Europe people in northern Poland do not enjoy and like the same things and don't have the same culture and language as people in southern Spain, although they're all Europeans. We need to do things differently, and dealing with it under one department and dealing with our indigenous people across this country as a homogeneous society or cultural group is wrong.
What, given the situation we're in, would you suggest we do with this piece of legislation?
If I may, the European Union is starting to show some cracks, as you know, although we're not in Europe.
We've been approached, and we've talked to the minister and the deputy minister, and they've talked to us about how to extract us from the Indian Act, more or less. How do you get out of the Indian Act? We can find solutions to just about everything that the Indian Act engulfs us with, but there are two areas, land and membership, that we're going to battle like hell over, and we're doing that right now.
As my colleague mentioned earlier on, this is not a “one size fits all” approach. In various parts of the country we understand that people need to have the Indian Act; they need to work with that. Changes that can be made to suit them are not going to suit us, and we don't want to fight with anybody. I don't want to fight with her, and I don't want to fight with him over that, the other witnesses here. If it fits what they need, then fine, let it fit.
You're going to have to go, I think, very carefully case by case and look right across the country in terms of what can happen and what can be done.
We're ready. We're bursting at the seams in terms of the Indian Act and it's application, especially in this one situation. I understand there's a Charter of Rights. I understand there's the appearance of discrimination and something has to be done. There has to be a way for Canada to look at it and say, “Well, that's Kahnawake. That's the way they do things, and it's not going to change”.
I just think Canada is in a conundrum one way or another, because you're not going to please everybody. I know she's saying that this is all you have to do and that's it, but at the same time, there's the impact it's going to have on first nations across Canada.
As Mr. Rusnak mentioned, some of them depend on these amendments and think it's going to be the greatest thing, because it's going to further their numbers and ensure that their existence as a band is going to continue. Others of us look at it and think, “Oh, my God, there are going to be all these people added to our community who don't even know where Kahnawake is or what it means to be Kanienkehaka.”
You're going to have an issue one way or another, moving forward. I had proposed at one point that there perhaps be registration: who could be a status Indian. You need to have general lists instead of giving band cards and tying it to specific nations or tying it to specific bands.
Or even make Ottawa a designated reserve, if you have to, and tie them to being Indians of Canada.
An hon. member: Ottawa Indians.
Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer: Yes, Ottawa Indians.
Voices: Oh, oh!
Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer: I know it's funny, but in terms of the connection to being tied to a community, if they don't meet a specific community's criteria—were it to do a section 10.... If they don't, well, then they have to go somewhere. They have to be tied to somewhere.
I'm unclear about what they want to consult about. Perhaps it's membership. I don't know.
I know that they don't have the right to consult about discrimination. No one has the right to say it's okay to discriminate. They did it for Bill C-31. They did it for Bill , and it looks like it's their intention to do it for Bill . Whoever they consulted is saying that it's okay to discriminate. We don't want any more. There are some that want more members, as well, but the consultation has never, ever been sufficient. I cannot think of any consultation in the last 50 years that has resulted in anything. You go and talk, and you do what you want to do anyway.
My immediate concern with Bill is that it seems that instead of taking out all the known discrimination in the Indian Act, the minister has now decided, “Well, we won't take it all out, even though we know it's there, and we'll consult with people about how we're going to do it.” It doesn't make any sense to me.
I'm not a big fan of consultation in this kind of legislation.
Yes, when you're looking at land, resources, all those kinds of things, absolutely. But on whether or not you should take discrimination against an identified group out of the Indian Act, consultation won't get you anywhere. You can't do it. You cannot consult and get somebody's agreement and then continue to discriminate, and then continue to discriminate while you're consulting.
Thank you, witnesses. It's certainly very compelling testimony.
It's interesting that we're doing what they call a pre-study. I've been here since 2008, and typically we get bills that are well through their process. A pre-study is a really interesting way to have a discussion. I'm also looking at what's happening in the Senate right now.
To be quite frank, I think everyone here had some very compelling points. Mr. Matson, you indicated very clearly that discrimination is still there, as did Ms. McIvor, and then there's the bigger picture in terms of where we go.
We've come back in 1985; we've come back in case after case. I think we need to spend phase two looking at that big picture that you're talking about.
In phase one, which we're doing right now, Bill , let's get the discrimination out so that this is fixed, so that we're not back here, not spending a lot more money in courts, not repeating this process that we've always done.
Having said that, with what has happened in the Senate and with what has happened here, I want to table my motion right now, which really is saying that the minister should ask for a bit of an extension and get this one right. I will just read it again:
|| That, in light of recent testimony the Committee has heard during its study of the subject matter of Bill S-3, An Act to Amend the Indian Act (elimination of known sex-based inequities in registration), the Committee: 1) suspend its study in recognition of the Bill's technical flaws and inadequate First Nations consultations; 2) resume its study once the Government of Canada has consulted with involved parties and ensured there are no technical flaws; 3) recommend that the Government of Canada request an extension on passing legislation from the Superior Court of Quebec, as recommended by Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde; and that the Committee report this recommendation to the House.
Obviously we can debate this, but for me, the testimony is clear. We have to spend a bit of time fixing this. Phase two needs to be really focused on solving the big picture issues. Let's get discrimination out, and let's take our time to do it right.