Indigenous women's activism in Canada
A talk by Sharon McIvor
Sharon McIvor is a member of the Lower Nicola Band in British Columbia and a Thompson Indian. She is a lawyer and professor of Indigenous Studies at Nicola Valley Technical Institute, British Columbia's Indigenous university, where she teaches about history, politics, colonization and human rights. She has been personally involved in litigation and policy development concerning Indigenous women's long search for equal status under federal law and the application of the Charter to Aboriginal issues.
She was the plaintiff in McIvor v. Canada, 2009 BCCA 153, a ground-breaking constitutional challenge to the sex discrimination in the status provisions of the Indian Act. McIvor also served as the justice coordinator of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), and she led the struggle during the Charlottetown constitutional talks to get the NWAC a seat at the table and equal funding with other Aboriginal organizations.
Currently, she is a member of the Feminist Alliance for International Action’s Human Rights Committee and has appeared before United Nations treaty bodies to report on discrimination against women in Canada, and Indigenous women in particular. This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Society and Culture, Faculty of Arts and Science and Simone de Beauvoir Institute.