Sharon McIvor is a member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band and teaches law, political science and Indigenous studies at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.  

In 1985 she launched a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge to Bill C-31, an amendment intended to eliminate gender discrimination in The Indian Act (Gray, 2011, p. 53).  In reality, the amendment “simply put off the gender discrimination by a generation.  Women who married non-Indians and their children got status, but the women’s grandchildren did not, while the grandchildren of Indian men and non-Indian women did” (The long, hard road of Sharon McIvor, 2007).  

A news article titled “The Long Hard Road of Sharon McIvor“, originally published in the Vancouver Sun in November 2007, outlines some of the court battles McIvor undertook as part of her Charter case.  As a result of her 20 year legal battle, the BC Supreme Court directed the Government of Canada to amend the Indian Act in April 2010 (Gray, 2011, p. 53).

The only way to be sure that sex discrimination is totally and finally eliminated from the status registration scheme is to place descendants of status Indian women, that is matrilineal descendents, on the same foot as descendants of status Indian Men” – Sharon McIvor  (Gray, 2011, p.53)

McIvor continues to advocate for the legal and human rights of Native women in Canada and has spoken out strongly against Bill C-3 which she argues does not go far enough to protect the ability of Indigenous women to transmit their status to their descendants.

She has very recently launched a complaint against Canada at the United Nations Human Rights Committee, arguing that the Canadian Government continues to discriminate against Indigenous women.  (