On behalf of the NDP, Ms. McIvor, I want to thank you for your tireless work in fighting this. I thank your family as well, because you wouldn't be doing it without your family's support and your community's support. I want to thank you.
This number may not be correct, but when the officials came before the committee, I believe they indicated to us that there are 14 cases on status before the courts. I'm not a lawyer, but given the track record of the government on losing these cases, I would argue that it would seem reasonable to consolidate the information and to look at more far-reaching changes to status in consultation with first nations.
I want to touch on a couple of things you talked about.
Regarding the 1951 date, our research people did a very good job on doing a summary. They indicated that the earliest statutory definition of an Indian in 1850 was inconclusive and did not differentiate between male and female. A statute in 1869 introduced the first provision under which the marriage of an Indian woman to a non-Indian man meant loss of status. It goes on to say that the act in 1876 explicitly emphasized male lineage, including a definition of any woman, Indian or not, who married a male. It was entrenched in 1951.
We're actually going back to 1869 in terms of this discriminatory practice. I don't know how we can begin to undo that kind of damage. I know that when you brought your case forward, it was much broader and you suggested that we remove any reference to 1951. Would the section 6(1) status apply to everybody prior to 1985, no matter what?