I'm going to ask Shelagh to talk about the law specifically, but what I can tell you is about the lived experience and the effects it has on aboriginal women. Real matrimonial property rights are something aboriginal women have been dealing with for decades, if not centuries. To put it realistically, the issue has always been a problem.
It's almost impossible for a woman to leave an abusive or violent relationship or to leave a man who is violent or sexually violent towards her children. When she does leave, she is leaving a reserve and going to another reserve or a town or a city to live in poverty, and then the whole cycle of women living in poverty starts all over again. We think this is something that needs to be remedied, and it needs to be taken care of right away.
Bill C-3is Sharon McIvor's bill. I can tell you how it affects my life today. One of my grandparents was what we call disenfranchised in 1947 so he could actually go to work and have a paying job off reserve. He said he wasn't an animal and he didn't deserve to be penned up like one. He wanted to be able to travel and vote, so he was disenfranchised and he lost his Indian status.
I got mine back in 1986 under Bill C-31, as did my daughters. But my sons' father is white. My sons have the life experience of aboriginal men. They have the life experience of aboriginal men who have lived in poverty most of their lives, and they do not have status and have no chance of getting status the way it is right now, even with the way Bill C-3 stands today. It's still discriminatory against my children and me.