1920s Minority Rights Role of Women The Persons Case Aboriginal Peoples Self Determination
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
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!
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
British North America Act • “Women are persons in matters of pains and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges”
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
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
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”
Aboriginal Peoples • Contribution to the war effort did little to help their situation at home • Not classified Persons • No vote • BC 1949 • Federal 1960
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!
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
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
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
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
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