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Senate adopts bill to include Indigenous rights in Canada’s citizenship oath

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Senate adopts bill to include Indigenous rights in Canada’s citizenship oath

Bill C-8 is awaiting Royal Assent.

Legislation to change Canada’s Oath of Citizenship to include a promise to respect the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis has been adopted in the Senate.

Bill C-8 advances Call to Action 94 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help ensure newcomers to Canada learn more about Indigenous history and rights.

The new wording represents “a deeply meaningful change as it recognizes the fact that Indigenous rights are constitutionally protected,” said Senator Margaret Dawn Anderson, sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

“The revised oath would underscore the need for new Canadians to demonstrate an understanding of Indigenous peoples and their constitutional rights,” she said in a speech in the Senate.

  • Read Senator Anderson’s full speech here.

“When it comes to this country’s relationship with Indigenous people, actions speak louder than words. The passing of Bill C-8 is a concrete step toward reconciliation that goes beyond just spoken and written words. It is an observable and measurable action that helps to rebuild the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples, basing it on honour and trust.”

Text of the 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.

The text of the former 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, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

 

Senate adopts bill to include Indigenous rights in Canada’s citizenship oath

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