Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, Bill C-31
was passed on June 28, 1985. Bill C-31 was an important
event. Through that bill, for example, Senator Patrick
Brazeau and I were able to gain status. Through the original
Indian Act, women were discriminated against: When an Indian
woman married a non-Indian man, she lost her status. There
were many protests and the issue was taken all the way to
the Supreme Court, where the case was unsuccessful — the
gender inequity in the Indian Act was still there.
However, Senator Lovelace Nicholas championed the cause and
took the case to the United Nations, where Canada was told
that it was discriminating against Indian women. I believe
His Honour Speaker Kinsella was part of that initiative in
his former role with the Human Rights Commission in New
I thought it important to rise today to pay tribute to
the Honourable Senator Lovelace Nicholas for the work she
did 25 years ago. Later, we will receive another bill that
attempts to remove further inequities. However, through her
work with women of the Tobique First Nation in New
Brunswick, Bill C-31 was passed.
I pay honour to my friend.