Indian status can be traced through mother, court rules

Posted: June 18, 2007 in Headlines

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Supreme Court has wiped out one of the most contentious aspects of the federal Indian Act, striking down part of Ottawa’s definition of a status Indian and opening the door to hundreds of thousands of new applications for native services. The ruling alters the federal law that has long created two classes of aboriginals in Canada: the 767,000 who fit the definition of status Indian and the several hundred thousand more who don’t.

Aboriginals with status qualify for prescription drug coverage and can apply for postsecondary assistance. Status Indians are also exempt from paying taxes on income earned on reserves.

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