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1920s Minority Rights

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  1. 1920s Minority Rights Role of Women The Persons Case Aboriginal Peoples Self Determination

  2. The Role of Women • Women gaining more control by taking on roles traditionally held by men • Politicians • Sports • Industry Despite these gains, women still facing discrimination and restrictions

  3. Women’s Social Status • Married women role was still wife and mother • Single women had limited career options • nurse/teacher • Very few doctors, engineers ect. • secretaries, sales clerks, telephone operators • PAID MUCH LESS THEN MEN!

  4. Women in Politics • Won the Federal Vote in 1918 • Only 4 women ran for office in 1921 • Only one (Agnes Macphail) won a seat • Only woman in the House of Commons until 1935 • Federal/Provincial governments remained male dominated

  5. British North America Act • “Women are persons in matters of pains and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges”

  6. The Persons Case 1929 • A Decade long battle by the Famous Five to get women in Canada defined persons under the law April 1928 • the Supreme Court of Canada argued that women are not persons under the law • They cannot be magistrates • They cannot be senators

  7. The Famous Five Emily Murphy Henrietta Muir Edwards Irene Parlby Louise McKinney Nellie McClung Took their case to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council • Prime Minister Mackenzie King supported their cause

  8. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council British Court Ruled in favour of women “ the exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours...To those who would ask why the word “person” should include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not”

  9. The Fight for Equality is Remembered, but Far from Over

  10. Aboriginal Peoples • Contribution to the war effort did little to help their situation at home • Not classified Persons • No vote • BC 1949 • Federal 1960

  11. Policy of Assimilation • Residential Schools purpose was to assimilate children to the European lifestyle “Kill the Indian in the Child” Did not end until the 1980s!

  12. Potlatches • An important cultural ceremony involving the oral acknowledgement of births, deaths, namings, establishing status in tribes, sharing of wealth ect. • forbidden in 1884 as they were seen as an obstacle to assimilation

  13. 1920s Fight to Regain Potlatches • First Nations challenged Provincial and Federal Government on right to hold Potlatches • After WWI Kwagiulth people held several Potlatches despite the ban - The Provincial government arrested chiefs and sentenced many to jail terms

  14. Struggle for Land Claims in the 1920s • The Allied Tribes of BC argued the government had violated the Indian Act by taking reservation land • The government changed the Indian Act • allow transfer of land without Aboriginal consent • Illegal to raise money to pursue land claims without government consent

  15. Enfranchisement • 1920 The Indian Act changed to allow the government to enfranchise Aboriginals without their consent • take away status and therefore treaty rights • Policy ended 2 years later BUT • Women who married out same problem until 1982

  16. Self Determination • 1923 Six Nation Council of the Iroquois Confederacy took the issue of Aboriginal Self-Determination to the League of Nations • Wanted international recognition of the Six Nations as an independent state to end ties with the government and the Indian Act • Britain blocked it from happening