Citizenship Oath Bill reintroduced: Addition of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples recognition

The official release:

Ottawa, October 22, 2020—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:

“Today, the Government of Canada 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. 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.

“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.”

“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.”

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/10/oath-of-citizenship-bill-introduced-in-parliament.html

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to Citizenship Oath Bill reintroduced: Addition of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples recognition

  1. Robert Addington says:

    I oppose this change to the Oath. The treaties are between the Crown and the Indigenous peoples. Individual Canadians are not parties to the treaties.

  2. Andrew says:

    The original TRC recommendation was shorter and better IMO. Valid to have reference to the treaties to signal to newcomers the importance of Indigenous groups, but formally speaking, you are correct.

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