Mr. Speaker, would the parliamentary secretary agree with me that perhaps he should have prefaced his comments with the statement that this House of Commons, this Parliament believes that the Indian Act is a paternalistic, obnoxious instrument of oppression that is unworthy of any western democracy and, in fact, is unworthy of any civilized free society?
I believe that the parliamentary secretary could have prefaced his remarks by recognizing that the social condition and the status of aboriginal people in our culture is perhaps Canada's greatest shame, and that there is and should be a sense of urgency to remedy some of the historic atrocities contained within the Indian Act.
Perhaps he should have acknowledged that the Indian Act was really designed as an instrument, not only of oppression but of extinction. In fact, it had recipes for extinction built into it. For instance, when a 6(1)(a) Indian, they categorized rights as 6, chapter (1) section (a), and a 6, chapter (1), section (c), marry. the results shall have a 6(1)(c) that forfeits their rights. It is not called disenfranchised. It is called enfranchising because they then become full status human beings as non-Indians.
I would just like my colleague to acknowledge and perhaps explain the position of his government. Does he acknowledge that Bill C-3 does not confer rights on aboriginal women, that this bill recognizes and finally acknowledges the inherent rights of those people who gained those rights by their birthright not bestowed upon by the government?