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Arnault Regains Indian Status

SASKATCHEWAN (September 12, 1985) - On August 16, 1985, Darlene Arnault, a Cree Indian from the Atakakoph Reserve, became the first person in Saskatchewan to regain her Indian status as a result of recent amendments to the Indian Act which ensure equality for men and women. Ms. Arnault lost her Indian status 12 years ago when she married a non-Indian.

Following her applications for reinstatement, Ms. Arnault received confirmation from the Registrar that she is now registered as an Indian in the Indian Register maintained by the department of Indian Affairs Canada and that her membership in the Atakakoph Band is immediate. Benefits provided under the amended Indian Act include the restoration of Indian rights to those who lost them and, for the first time, legal recognition of the power of Indian Bands to control their membership.

At age 16, Ms. Arnault left her home on the Atakakohp Reserve to pursue an education that would enable her to effectively assist Saskatchewan Indian people in their efforts for enhanced community life. She graduated from City Park Collegiate in Saskatoon and later enrolled in a diploma nursing program at the Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences.

In 1969 she worked as secretary with the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College in Saskatoon.

From 1971 to 1973 she was employed by the Saskatchewan Indian Women's Association as administrator of the Indian Homemakers' Program, a project designed to provide on reserve instruction to Indian clients. She later served as family services worker with the Department of Social Services.

In 1977, Ms. Arnault joined Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Alberta Region, as social services administrator. That year, she transferred to the department's Saskatchewan Region where she served in the same capacity in the Saskatoon district office until September 6, 1985. She left the department following approved application for education leave and is presently working toward a degree in Social Work.

Information and assistance with applications for reinstatement can be obtained through the department's seven district offices or the Saskatchewan regional office.