New Citizenship Oath to Include Reference to Treaties with Indigenous Peoples

By Levitz, Stephanie | The Canadian Press, September 28, 2017 | Go to article overview

New Citizenship Oath to Include Reference to Treaties with Indigenous Peoples


Levitz, Stephanie, The Canadian Press


New citizenship oath nears completion

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OTTAWA - A revised oath of citizenship that will require new Canadians to faithfully observe the country's treaties with Indigenous Peoples is nearly complete.

The proposed new text was put to focus groups held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in March, following months of consultation by departmental officials.

It reads: "I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada including treaties with Indigenous Peoples, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen."

The language comes from the 94th and final recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which examined the legacy of Canada's residential schools.

Implementing that recommendation was one of the tasks given to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen when he was sworn into his portfolio in January 2017, but work on it began soon after the commission delivered its recommendations in late 2015, briefing notes for the minister suggest.

The notes, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, show the government also wants to modify the script delivered by those who preside over citizenship ceremonies. The proposed notes say the script should refer to ceremonies taking place on traditional territories, and include remarks on the history of Indigenous Peoples. …

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