First of all, I'd like to say thank you for having me back again, but every time I come back, it just means that we haven't settled the problem, so, in one way, thank you.
I think that one of the big things that we're being misled on here is the system itself. As David pointed out to you, as you looked at the charts, status and native citizenship code and membership are not the same. They don't even belong in the same sentence. A native is always a native.
This is a government system that they put in place, which they have an obligation to. It is their system; it was not our system. Their system has sexual discrimination in it. I'm completely thrown that in this country, our country of Canada that we all love.... And as I look around this table, I see the true meaning of Canada. Many of us are from different nations from all over, with ancestry from different places, but we're all equal. When it comes to my first nations women, we have sexual discrimination, and this is okay?
It's hard to believe that we have to spend this much time on this subject to say that a woman could be disenfranchised and, because of that, she has no rights. I look around the table here, and there are women at this table. If our government disenfranchised one of you and said you couldn't sit at this table, you would be arguing about it. This is the reason we bring this argument to the government and say this is their system. Indian Affairs put this system together. All we want is equal rights for our women. Our women deserve that. This whole status system, we agree, was not correct. They like to turn around and say they consulted with communities who don't want what the Senate wants. They don't want to clear this up because of cultural erosion. No one knows cultural erosion better than me and my communities. That is our job. Our job is to take care of cultural erosion, not the government's. The government's job is to take care of sexual discrimination, and then let us do our work.
Citizenship codes and membership codes are something that our communities have the right to. We have the right to say who our citizens are. We have the right to say who our members are. In our codes, I guarantee you, we don't have sexual discrimination. Our women are the most important thing in our nations. Our women are the givers of life. They are the ones who we are supposed to be respecting. That a country that will this year will celebrate a 150th anniversary can still stand and say we can discriminate against women, I'm ashamed to say that.
For that reason, most first nations people will not be celebrating the 150th anniversary because this country still has not given our women fair rights. Sexual discrimination needs to stop. Stage one, stage two, how did we even come to the fact of saying we need to do stage two? Is discrimination discrimination?
They say they have consulted with nations that don't want to have anything to do with this and they don't want the change. Under that logic, I could say, if I consult with 15 racist people, does that mean racism is okay? Consulting is fine, but it has nothing to do with the problem that we have at hand. This is their system. They put the discrimination in the system. They need to fix their system. Why does the system not want to be fixed? Let's all be honest, we all know, it's financial commitment. We all know this is about money. This is not about being native. This is not about who's Indian or who's not Indian, who has the right to live in my community and who doesn't have the right to live in my community. This is about dollars and cents. This is about obligation. Please, listen to what the Senate has to say.
Look at this. Stage two, eighteen months. The last stage two with the McIvor case took six years. In the end, my community had to take you back to court again. I will if I have to. I will go back to court 10 years from now. I don't want to. Let's not sit at this table. Let's all do our jobs and solve this problem once and for all.