SEPTEMBER 21, 2005

MALISEET SANDRA LOVELACE NICHOLAS BECOMES 1ST ABORIGINAL WOMAN IN CANADIAN SENATE

Born April 15, 1948, in Maliseet, Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick, Nicholas studied at St. Thomas University and earned a degree from Northern Technical College in Maine.  In 1979, she successfully petitioned the United Nations over unequal government treatment of aboriginal women & children in Canada in the case, Sandra Lovelace v. Canada (1977–1981).  At that time, under the Indian Act, a First Nations woman’s status was revoked if she married a non-aboriginal man; the law, however, did not apply in reverse.  The law also denied status to the woman’s children, even where the First Nation had a matrilineal system.  In 1985, Parliament corrected the Indian Act.  For her stance, she received the Order of Canada (1990) & Governor General’s Award (1992).  In 2005, she was appointed to the Canadian Senate.  Serving on Indigenous Peoples, Fisheries & Oceans, and Human Rights Committees, she caused Canada to launch a National Inquiry on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls in 2016.

Sources:  
“Biography,” Senate of Canada.  Retrieved 7/13/2020, https://sencanada.ca/en/senators/lovelace-nicholas-sandra-m/
 Heather Conn, “Sandra Lovelace Nicholas,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 1/10/2018.  Retrieved 7/13/2020, https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/sandra-lovelace-nicholas
 Wikipedia
Photo:  Government of Canada (Parliament), 2005. Permissive Use. Source:  https://sencanada.ca/en/senators/lovelace-nicholas-sandra-m/

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