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The Bill S-3 Project


What is Bill S-3

In response to the Superior Court Case of Descheneaux c. Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada has developed Bill S-3 and the Collaborative Process.

Bill S-3 works to eliminate gender inequalities within the Indian Act including:

Ø  The Cousins Issue – Daughters and granddaughters of women born out of wedlock between 1951 and 1985 may now apply for Indian Status;

Ø  The Siblings Issue – Grandchildren of Indian women are now able to apply for Indian Status and transmit their Indian Status to their children, regardless of the Status of the other parent;

Ø  The Issue of Omitted Minors – Children who were born out of wedlock of women who married a non-Indian person prior to 1985 may now apply for Indian Status; and,

Ø  Unknown or Unstated Parentage – Indian Status may be granted to persons whose parents or were not stated on a birth certificate or other ancestors were unknown, through the review of evidence by the Registrar.

Some of the remaining issues that Bill S-3 does not address involves:

Ø  Women and their descendants losing Indian Status;

Ø  Those who are effected by adoption, sperm donors, surrogacy and fertility treatments;

Ø  Discrimination in regards to band membership; and,

Ø  Providing “relevant evidence” that may not be available for proving lineage.

The Collaborative Process is the process of gathering feedback from communities on the gender inequalities of the Indian Act including:

Ø  The removal of the 1951 cut-off from the Indian Act;

Ø  Responsibility of Indian Registration, Band Membership and First Nation Citizenship; and,

Ø  Further inequalities with regards obtaining Indian Registration that may include lack of evidence of heritage or birth records.

What is the Bill S-3 Project

The Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan (AFCS) was successful in their application for the Collaborative Process. AFCS will engage in all Friendship Centre communities to collect more information on the inequalities of the Indian Act, the impacts of Bill S-3 and recommendations moving forward.

The Project timeline is from October 2018 to March 2019, where all friendship centre communities will be engaged in Saskatchewan and information collected will be provided in a comprehensive report to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. 


How will each Community will be Engaged

AFCS staff will be coming out to the Friendship Centres across Saskatchewan to engage with community members. Each community engagement session will be held in the evening to ensure that communities are able to attend outside the regular work day. Community engagement sessions will also include community feasts.

Community engagement sessions will also include two-way video conferencing through TakingItGlobal’s WebEx platform, to provide more opportunities for communities and community members to share their input. In addition to gathering input from community engagement sessions.

Please click the following link for Bill S-3 Project online survey.


Any Questions

Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Bill S-3 Project Coordinator, Alicia Buckley by phone at 306.270.3421 (cell) or by email at abuckley@afcs.ca.

Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan


#5 – 115 Wall Street,

Saskatoon, SK S7K 6C2