Ottawa – The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today introduced a Bill to amend the Citizenship Act to change Canada’s Oath of Citizenship. The bill responds to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by inserting text that refers to the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The proposed amendment to the Oath demonstrates the Government’s commitment to reconciliation and to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The new proposed language adds references to the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples:
“I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, including the Constitution, which recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
“I welcome the Government’s new legislation to change the Oath of Citizenship to better reflect a more inclusive history of Canada, as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in its final report. To understand what it means to be Canadian, it is important to know about the 3 founding peoples – the Indigenous People, the French and the British. Reconciliation requires that a new vision, based on a commitment to mutual respect, be developed. Part of that vision is encouraging all Canadians, including newcomers, to understand the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit including information about the treaties and the history of the residential schools so that we all honour the truth and work together to build a more inclusive Canada.”
– The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Senator
All new Canadians recite the Oath before receiving their Canadian citizenship. By doing so, new Canadians promise to abide by the laws of Canada and to take on the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.