Research Project

This website is part of a research project entitled Exploring Section 10: Narrating Three Decades of Indian Band Membership Policy, 1985 to Present.

This project is concerned with better understanding First Nations band membership codes in Canada, and is being conducted by Dr. Damien Lee (Ryerson University) and Dr. Kahente Horn-Miller (Carleton University). Please download our recruitment poster to learn how to get involved. Note: Recruitment has ended as of August 2019.

In 1985, the Canadian government amended the Indian Act (under Bill C-31). This amendment allowed Indian bands to take control of their membership under section 10 of the act. By 1987, more than 220 of Canada’s 630+ Indian bands opted to control their own membership by writing what are known as “section 10 membership codes.” However, while many have seen this as a positive step towards self-government, some bands may have used section 10 to exclude individuals who otherwise might belong with their respective communities.

With this research project, then, we seek to learn from those individuals who have been most affected by section 10 band membership legislation. Our intent is to ensure such experiences are known so that future band membership policy amendments might better include all who rightfully belong with their nations and communities.