- Aging Activisms
#17Tuesdays for “6(1)a All the Way!”
Peterborough’s own Lynn Gehl (Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe) is the creator of the “6(1)a All the Way!” slogan which made its way into the Canadian Senate, where Senators fist pumped for its inclusion in Bill S-3, an Act to Amend the Indian Act, as well as into the recent January 11th, 2019 United Nations Sharon McIvor ruling. More particularly, Lynn calls for the inclusion of the 6(1)a All the Way clauses that would bring about the elimination of the sex-discrimination in the Indian Act.
Every Tuesday since March 12, 2019, community members have been gathering outside of the Minister of Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef’s constituency office on Bethune Street calling for the immediate removal of all sex-discrimination from the Indian Act. These community members are people of different ancestries and connections to Turtle Island. The goal of the gatherings, organized by Lynn Gehl, is to remind the federal government, and Monsef specifically, to heed a recent United Nations ruling that calls for an end to all sex-discrimination. From listening to and learning from Lynn and others, community members in Nogojiwanong are recognizing that this archaic and unjust discrimination must end.
Though 17 Tuesdays for 6(1)a All the Way! has been running for several weeks, this work is a continuation of five decades of struggle for Lynn Gehl, Yvonne Bédard, Jeannette Corbière-Lavell, Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, Sharon McIvor, and many others to eliminate the discrimination (read more here). Although their efforts are continuously dismissed, denied, or ignored by the colonial Canadian government, the issue has received support elsewhere. In January of this very year, the UN ruled in favour of Sharon McIvor, a ruling which echoed the call for the Canadian government to eliminate what is known as the 6(1)a and 6(1)c hierarchy (listen to Sharon McIvor here).
In support of Sharon and the UN ruling, what Lynn and others are calling for does not require new legislation or readings in the Senate and House of Commons. The discrimination could be addressed by Cabinet issuing an order-in-council the proclaims all the 6(1)a All the Way provisions into law. Indigenous women and their supporters are asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act on this before parliament breaks for the summer on June 21st, 2019 (read more here. After all, as Trudeau himself has stated, it is the right thing to do “because it’s 2015.”
What is extraordinary about #17Tuesdays is the way in which so many others in Nogojiwanong have been answering Lynn’s call to join in her persistent work. She has been drawing community around her and calling on us to take responsibility to hold this government accountable (read more here).
For more information, and to join Lynn and other Peterborough community members in calling the government to eliminate all sex discrimination in the Indian Act, visit this link. Details about these gatherings can be found here. You can also learn more about Lynn’s work in her story from our 2017 Stories of Resistance, Resurgence, and Resilience workshop, here
This post was created in relationship with Lynn Gehl. Miigwetch Lynn for your feedback and images.
The Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA-AFAI) offers ways to take action to end sex discrimination in the Indian Act:
Please email or phone Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Justice Minister, David Lametti, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef, and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, asking them to implement the UN Human Rights Committee decision in McIvor and pass an Order in Council bringing the outstanding provisions of Bill S-3 into force. Here is a suggested text: