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Sandra Lovelace (1948 - )

Sandra Lovelace (1948 - )

Sandra Lovelace is a Maliseet woman from the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. She is best known for her fight against gender discrimination that was written into the Indian Act. Her efforts led to a shift in policy that allows for less gender discrimination towards Aboriginal women.

  • She studied at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick and has a degree in residential construction. Before entering politics, Lovelace worked in the construction industry as a carpenter.
  • In the 1970s, Lovelace began her battle against the Indian Act because she had been personally affected by it: she lost her Indian status when she married a white man.
  • From 1977 to 1981 Lovelace brought her case to the Supreme Court, where she argued that the denial of her Indian status violated her human rights. She lost her case.
  • She petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Committee, who agreed that Canada should change the law.
  • In 1985, Bill C-31 was created and added to the Indian Act. This change allowed aboriginal women to marry whom they pleased without losing Indian status.
  • In 1990 Lovelace was awarded the Order of Canada, and in 1992 she received the Governor General's Award.
  • Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed her to the Senate in 2005.
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