Natural Parents v. Superintendent of Child Welfare and Al.

Supreme Court of Canada – [1976] 2 S.C.R. 751

British Columbia Family lawIndian ActJurisdiction over IndiansStatus

Summary

The Supreme Court found that there a provincial adoption act can apply to aboriginal people, in this case because it created no inconsistency. The child can keep its status even though he is adopted by two non-Natives.

Issue

Was section 10 of the Adoption Act, a provincial statute, incorporated into the Indian Act under section 88 of the same Act?


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McIvor v. Canada (Registrar of Indian and Northern Affairs)

Court of Appeal for British Columbia – 2009 BCCA 153

British Columbia DiscriminationIndian ActStatus

Summary

This case put an end to some discrimination between men and women in the application of the Indian Act.

Before, an Indian woman who married a non-Indian man lost her status, while an Indian man who married a non-Indian woman gave his wife the status. The Court confirms that corrections brought to this situation in 1985 by Parliament were not sufficient in putting an end to such inequality between men and women.

Issue

Do the provisions of section 6 of the Indian Act violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because of discrimination based on sex and marital status, and can Grismer’s children be entitled to Indian status even if their paternal grandfather and mother are non-Indian?


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Attorney-General of Canada v. Lavell

Supreme Court of Canada – [1974] S.C.R. 1349

Ontario DiscriminationIndian ActStatus

Summary

The Lavell case is one of the first in a set of groundwork laid by Aboriginal women of Canada to obtain equality before the law. At the time, Indian women who married non-Indian men lost their status as a registered Indian, although the same was not true for men.

Although they lost this case, they continued the right until the McIvor decision in 2009.

Issue

Should s. 12 (1)(b) of the Indian Act, which provides that registered Indian women who marry non-Indians lose their status, be rendered inoperative because of discrimination contrary to the Canadian Bill of Rights?


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