Canada’s oath of citizenship now recognizes First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights

The formal announcement and messaging. But still no new citizenship study guide, five years later:

Canada’s Oath of Citizenship is more than words. It is a public declaration of belonging to our country and to our communities. That’s why the government has been hard at work over the past few years updating the Oath to include Indigenous peoples, through Bill C-8. This directly responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call to Action 94.

The recent news of the findings in the area around the Kamloops Residential School is a stark reminder of the importance of this work and the reason why we need continue to deliver on the TRC’s Calls to Action.

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that Bill C-8 has received Royal Assent and is now law. As of today, Canada’s Oath of Citizenship officially recognizes First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and the obligation that all citizens have to uphold the treaties between the Crown and Indigenous nations.

The new Oath of Citizenship recognizes that Indigenous rights are both enshrined in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and that they derive from the historic use of this land by Indigenous peoples. As new Canadians recite the Oath, they will make a personal commitment to observe the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Reconciliation is a national project that involves all of us, including our newest citizens. Over the past few years, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has been working to implement several of the TRC’s Calls to Action and educate newcomers about their unique role in reconciliation.

On June 14, we announced that Indigenous people can now reclaim their traditional names on passports and other documents, fulfilling Call to Action 17. In response to Call to Action 93, we have been working hard at updating Canada’s Citizenship Guide to ensure new citizens understand the role of Indigenous peoples in our past, present and future. We look forward to sharing the new guide with Canadians later this year.

New oath:

“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 fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2021/06/canadas-oath-of-citizenship-now-recognizes-first-nations-inuit-and-metis-rights.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.

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