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Banned from the Band

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Being a member of a Canadian First Nation has its privileges, such as a house on the reserve, tax exempt status, free post-secondary education, and the right to vote in band elections. But these benefits are by no means guaranteed, because band chiefs and councils decide who gets band membership and the associated entitlements. Their decisions are often arbitrary, ad hoc, discriminatory, and beyond the reach of Canadian law. Brian Hutchinson reports on the rising incidence of racial and gender discrimination on the hundreds of self-governing reserves across Canada.

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