Our very own Lanise Hayes was recently quoted in the Law Times article “Indian Act ‘paternalistic’ on will-making”.
The article discussed Wills for Indigenous Canadians subject to the Indian Act who live on reserves. Rather than falling under provincial estates legislation, for these individuals the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) estates program governs the settling of their estates.
This is in the context of Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration), which has passed third reading. Currently, the Indian Act prevents certain people from having their name entered in a Band List. This bill aims to remove sex-based discrimination in the Act, and will potentially increase the number of people who are entitled to be registered under the Act.
This change of status may benefit some people. As Lanise says in the article: “The provincial regime to which all Canadians in their respective provinces are subject when it comes to testamentary issues may not work well in a reserve or an Indian setting because of the fact that there are rules at times about who can reside in a First Nations community”.
You can read the full article here.