Proposed change to Citizenship Act to recognize rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples

On February 18, 2020, the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, introduced a Bill to amend the Citizenship Act to change Canada’s Oath of Citizenship.  The bill is in response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by inserting text that refers to the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

All new Canadians recite the Oath before receiving their Canadian citizenship. By doing so, new Canadians promise to abide by the laws of Canada and to take on the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.  

The proposed language adds reference 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.”

If you have questions about applying for Canadian citizenship, or require assistance with your citizenship application, please contact Jason May at Burchells LLP, jmay@burchells.ca, (902) 423-6361.