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July 17, 2023
Process being done in consultation with Indigenous people
Calls for the Indian Act to be repealed and replaced are not new, but the big issue is how to go about it, a spokesperson for Indigenous Services Canada says.
“There is no clear consensus on a way forward on a large-scale, comprehensive change to the Indian Act but there have been several attempts over the years to reform or repeal the Act,” said Carolane Gratton.
Gratton was responding on behalf of the department to calls by Welland resident Steven Soos, a Métis man who has called the Act “legislated slavery” and needs to be scrapped and new legislation be drafted with the participation of Indigenous people.
According to Gratton, work is ongoing to do just that.
“Indigenous Services Canada reports annually on the work undertaken in collaboration with First Nations and other interested parties to develop new legislation to replace the Indian Act,” Gratton said, adding that the government acknowledges the Act is “an extension of our colonial history and that First Nations continue to be impacted by systemic and historical inequities.”