MARCO E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Thursday announced that the federal goevrnenment has introduced a bill to amend the Citizenship Act to change Canada’s Oath of Citizenship. This bill proposes to insert text into the oath that refers to the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Mendicino said: “It continues to fulfill our government’s commitment to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, specifically Call to Action number 94.”
He added: “The Government of Canada remains committed to walking the shared path of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. The proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act is one more vital step towards reconciliation, and demonstrates the Government’s commitment 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.”
Mendicino said: “The oath is a solemn declaration that all newcomers recite during the citizenship ceremony. With this amendment, we are changing the Oath of Citizenship to be more inclusive, and taking steps to fundamentally transform the nature of our relationship with Indigenous Peoples by encouraging new Canadians to fully appreciate and respect the significant role of Indigenous peoples in forming Canada’s fabric and identity.”