Government Commitments

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Pursuing legislative solution to end impact of enfranchisement under the Indian Act

March 3, 2022

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Juristes Power Law, who represent the plaintiffs in the Nicholas v Canada (Attorney General), are pleased to announce that they have reached a mutual agreement to put the litigation on hold while working to pursue a legislative solution to end the ongoing impact of enfranchisement under the Act today.

Minister Hajdu has committed to work towards introducing legislation in the House of Commons by summer to make the necessary amendments to the registration provisions of the Indian Act.

“Enfranchisement” was a process whereby members of First Nations lost eligibility to registration and membership in their home communities. In return, they gained basic entitlements, such a:

  • Canadian citizenship
  • the right to vote in Canadian elections
  • the right to hold land in fee simple, and 
  • freedom from compulsory residential school attendance for their children.

While the enfranchisement process was removed from the Indian Act in 1985, the fact of historical enfranchisement continues to play a role in determining entitlement to registration today.