The Canadian government is investigating the need to change the Indian Act which discriminates against Indian women who marry someone who is not of Indian background. The government has decided to amend the act after being ordered to obey a court order which allowed an Indian women’s children to pass on their heritage to their own children. Sharon McIvor and her son Charles Grismer are fighting provisions of the act which would not have allowed Mr. Grismer’s children to claim their grandmother’s Indian heritage.
Indian status involves a wide range of entitlements, including health benefits, money for education and exemption from some taxes. The 1985 amendments allowed Indian men who married non-Indian women to claim their heritage for life. This will now be allowed for Indian women.