News Release

Workshop: Understanding the Indian Act

April 20, 2017 Print

OTTAWA – Members of the media are invited to join a Policy Options workshop designed to build basic knowledge of one of Canada’s most complex and most reviled pieces of legislation – the 141-year-old Indian Act.

The federal government recently announced it would review the laws and policies related to Indigenous people, and it has struck a cabinet working group to lead the task. The Indian Act will necessarily be a key component of any review. What is the history behind this colonial law? How does it function? Is there any hope we will be able to remove it from the books and replace it with a framework that better reflects a nation-to-nation relationship?

Three experts in Indigenous law and policy will help answer questions about the Act.


  • Frances Abele is a professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University and academic director of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation. She was deputy director of research for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
  • Douglas Sanderson is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.He is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
  • Roger D. Jonesis a council member of the Sagamok Anishnawbek, Robinson-Huron Treaty Territory. He is a founding president of the Indigenous Bar Association.

Jennifer Ditchburn, editor-in-chief of Policy Options, will moderate the discussion.

What: Understanding the Indian Act

When: April 28, 2017, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: IDRC/CRDI, David Hopper A Room, 8th floor, 150 Kent Street, Ottawa

This event is hosted by the IRPP in partnership with Carleton University’s Faculty of Public Affairs, the School of Public Policy and Administration, and the School of Journalism and Communication.

Enrolment is limited, please register your attendance in advance.

Media contact:    Shirley Cardenas    tel. 514-594-6877


Policy Options magazine is a digital publication of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP). The IRPP is an independent, national, bilingual, not-for-profit organization based in Montreal. To receive updates from the IRPP, please subscribe to our e-mail list.

Media Contact

Shirley Cardenas
Communications Coordinator
Tel. 514-594-6877 •