Jody Wilson-Raybould, the first Native woman to serve as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, at the Assembly of First Nations on July 25, 2017. Photo: Jody Wilson-Raybould
Canada | Opinion

Sandra LaFleur: Let's return to our traditions by restoring power to Native women

The government of Canada is moving away from the Indian Act and working to establish new relationships with First Nations. What does this mean for Native women? Cree activist Sandra LaFleur looks forward to a day when everyone's voices are heard:
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s historic announcement of a move away from the 141 year old Indian Act had to have left some Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and provincial Indigenous leaders scratching their heads. Indigenous activist leaders (land protectors, water protectors, suicide watch groups), Native Women’s Association of Canada {NWAC}, Idle No More {INM}, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), grassroots people and the average non-indigenous Canadian are also likely, wondering what a life beyond the Indian Act means and how the move will affect them in their day to day lives.

If all three levels (local, provincial and national) of First Nation governing bodies are part of legislating how treaty’s, territory boundaries and mandates are re-mapped and/or delineated more clearly to form the new (post, Indian Act) FN legislation, the three tiers of government need a more common sensed approach and must include in the foundation – matrilineal rights. Or perhaps the legislation of new constitutions needs to form by an ad-hoc matriarchal based government.

Historically matriarchal governance was a way of life and this is an opportunity to return to tradition and at the least, include indigenous female leaders as a primary part; either minor, major or of equal measure, for the new First Nation legislation post, Indian Act.

Read More on the Story:
Sandra LaFleur: Change Is Coming: Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act (Indian Country Media Network 8/12)