Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Trois-Rivières. An Indian woman who marries a white man loses all her rights. This means that she is no longer a band member and she is thrown out of the band. She has to leave the area and generally, she and her children are literally—and I do mean literally—removed forcibly from the reserve. That has happened. Therefore, she is no longer an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act. She cannot own property on the reserve. She and her husband cannot own a house. They are expelled from the reserve.
That has happened in Quebec. It has actually started happening again with the Mohawks. It has happened in a number of other communities. There is a shortage of land. If a woman is not an Indian under the law, she is turned out. She loses her rights, her children lose all their rights under the Indian Act, that is, the right to be recognized. What is worse, they lose their culture. When you are expelled you have no rights. You are on the outside.
You would not believe that this could happen in Canada. However, that is exactly what has happened to aboriginal women over the past century and it is unacceptable. Women had power because tradition was passed on by women, by mothers. Overnight, they had their rights trampled on. This was confirmed in 1951 and in 1985. Let us hope that this is not the case when we have finished studying Bill C-3.