Winnipeg demographer Stewart Clathworthy is prediciting that no status Indians will be left in less than 200 years.
Federal legislation is the main culprit, as the children of mixed marriages (including one parent who is not a treaty Native) are being eliminated from the list as “Indian,” and stripped of the benefits and rights that come with that status.
Fewer children qualify for Indian status and as such, all Nations are in danger of marrying themselves off the band list -unless things change.
“If nothing changes and intermarriage rates stay the same, and the rules of the act stay the same, and you string it out long enough, you can essentially create a situation where there would be no one born who would qualify,” Clathworthy told CBC News October 4.
Clathworthy projects that within six generations – or roughly 180 years – no one would qualify as a status Indian.
There is a decline of people born with Indian status in recent years, despite growing numbers of Aboriginal people overall. A change in the Indian Act is needed to stop this trend, according to Clathworthy.