The British North America Act' declares in section 91(24) that the exclusive legislative authority of Parliament extends to "Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians". The Canadian Bill of Rights provides that no law of Canada shall be applied so as to abridge the right of the individual to equality before the law without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex. Three recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada have grappled with the reconciliation of constitutional authorization and statutory proscription. The trilogy has evoked a virtually unprecedented volume of critical comment, the common feature of which is the view that the first of the three cases has been overruled or limited severely in application by the second, and the principle of the second applied wrongly in the third.
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Patrick N. McDonald, “Equality before the Law and the Indian Act: In Defence of the Supreme Court” (1976-1977) 3:3 DLJ 726.