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category: Social Science
published: Jan 2020
publisher: UBC Press

Men, Masculinity, and the Indian Act

by Martin J. Cannon

tagged: indigenous studies, gender studies

Canada’s Indian Act is infamously sexist. Many iterations of the legislation conferred a woman’s status rights through marriage, and even once it was amended First Nations women could not necessarily pass their status on to their descendants. What has that injustice meant for First Nations men? Martin J. Cannon challenges a decades-long assumption that the act has affected Indigenous people as either “women” or “Indians” – but not both. He argues that sexism and racialization within the law must instead be understood as interlocking forms of discrimination that disrupt gender complementarity and undercut the identities of Indigenous men through their female forebears.

About the Author

Martin J. Cannon

Contributor Notes

Martin J. Cannon is Onyota’a:ka (Oneida Nation), Turtle Clan, and a citizen of the Six Nations at Grand River Territory. He is an associate professor in the Department of Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and an adjunct professor of sociology at the University of Saskatchewan, where he established the Indigenous Peoples’ Justice Initiative, 2002–07. He is also a co-editor of Racism, Colonialism, and Indigeneity in Canada, and an invited speaker for the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Union of Ontario Indians, and the National Centre for First Nations Governance.

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