Canada's Indian Act is infamously sexist. Many iterations of the legislation conferred a woman's status rights through marriage, and even once it was amended First Nations women could not necessarily pass their status on to their descendants. What has that injustice meant for First Nations men? Martin J. Cannon challenges a decades-long assumption that the act has affected Indigenous people as either "women" or "Indians" - but not both. He argues that sexism and racialization within the law must instead be understood as interlocking forms of discrimination that disrupt gender complementarity and undercut the identities of Indigenous men through their female forebears.
Through analyzing 35 sources pertaining to the Indian Act that address governance, gender, enfranchisement, and land, the authors hope that students develop critical skills related to analyzing primary documents and come away with a much better understanding of this pivotal piece of legislation as well as the dynamics involved in its creation and maintenance.