many people do not know or understand that since 1985 Canada has been eliminating its treaty responsibilities through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s unstated paternity policy – a policy that directly targets mothers and their babies. Yes, this is correct, Canada is now targeting mothers and babies. Deplorable I know. Here are the quick facts:
- Status registration with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is the mechanism that provides entitlement to treaty rights that include annuity payments, health care, dental care, vision care, education, and hunting, fishing, and gathering rights.
- Status registration with AANDC is also the mechanism that in most First Nations provides for band membership, First Nation citizenship, and the right to live in First Nations communities.
- Status registration and treaty rights are critical for a healthy identity production, access to one’s culture, and thus a critical factor in one’s ability to achieve mino-bimadiziwin (the good life).
- Status registration places individuals in a more favourable location in terms of contemporary land claims and self-government negotiations processes and thus in terms of the benefits of final agreements.
- Through the 1985 amendment to the Indian Act, provisions that once protected children born out-of-wedlock, and consequently children born of unknown, unreported, unnamed, unacknowledged, unestablished, unrecognized, and unstated paternity, were removed.
- Through the 1985 amendment, the Indian Act is now silent on the matter of children born out-of-wedlock, and children born of unknown, unreported, unnamed, unacknowledged, unestablished, unrecognized, and unstated paternity.