“Gehl's co-counsel, Mary Eberts, said the government's current interpretation of the Indian Act treats men and women differently, with women bearing the disproportionate brunt of the unequal treatment. In general, Eberts said, it is far more difficult to identify a father than it is a mother.”
Note: These news articles contains wording that is may confuse people: “Tens of thousands of women are estimated to be in Gehl's situation — denied Indian status in cases in which a father is unknown or unstated on his child's birth certificate. This usually results from cases of rape, incest, or abuse, or where a man simply disavows his child.” Women in the first sentence should be replaced with “mothers and children”.
“A woman’s long quest to be recognized as an Indian goes before Ontario’s top court Tuesday in a constitutional challenge that asserts she and others like her are victims of discrimination. At issue is a federal government policy that a father whose name does not appear on his child’s birth certificate is not an Indian. This includes cases of rape or incest, or where the man simply disavows his child.”
“Gehl, who has a doctorate in indigenous studies, said the judge’s view was too narrow. ‘Canada has spent almost $1 million defending a discriminatory policy and law,’ she said.”
"At issue is a federal government policy that a father whose name does not appear on his child’s birth certificate is not an Indian. This includes cases of rape or incest, or where the man simply disavows his child."
"After unsuccessful attempts at registration, Gehl took her fight to the courts in 2002, arguing 1985 provisions of the Indian Act that determine how status is passed to children are unconstitutional."