Rights of Aboriginal women subject of Tuesday discussion

Until 1985, First Nations women who married non-status men lost their status under Canada’s Indian Act, even though men who married non-status women were able to pass their status on to their wives and children. The effects of this discrimination are still being felt in many communities today.

In a free public event, “Aboriginal Women v. Canada,” Jeannette Corbière Lavell and Dawn Lavell Harvard discuss the losses experienced by First Nations women and their children as a result of gender discrimination in the Indian Act.

The event is part of the Distinguished Visitor in Women’s Studies program, and begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 23, in room 203, Toldo Health Education Centre.

Lavell, an Anishnabe woman of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island, is a former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. In 1974, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against her effort to correct gender discrimination in the Indian Act, a result overturned in 1985, after the enactment of The Charter, which restored status to her and her children, including her daughter Dawn Memee Lavell-Harvard, president of the Ontario Native Women’s Association and vice-president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Workshop to consider everyday usefulness of equality rights

The 2012 celebration of “The Women Behind The Charter” will conclude Friday, October 26, with “Can They Really Do That?!” a discussion about the everyday usefulness of women’s equality rights on the street and in the workplace, led by Joanna Birenbaum, former legal director of the Women’s Legal Action and Education Fund (LEAF).

The workshop is open to the public but will be of particular interest to social workers and community advocates. It runs 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall of All Saints' Anglican Church, 330 City Hall Square West. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which includes a light lunch. RSVP by phoning 519-253-3000, ext. 3727, or e-mailing wsvisitor@uwindsor.ca.