We call upon the Government of Canada to replace the Oath of Citizenship with the following: 

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 fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen. 

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusAug. 17, 2020STALLED
Previous StatusJune 15, 2020STALLED

Why “Stalled”?

Bill C-99 died on the order paper with the dissolution of Parliament on June 21, 2019 and will have to be re-introduced in the next session of Parliament

May 28, 2019 – Bill C-99 “An Act to amend the Citizenship Act”was originally introduced on May 28, 2019 , to change Canada’s Oath of Citizenship to include clear reference to the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Evolution of content of new oath

Feb. 1, 2017 – The mandate letter for new Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen lists making the change to the swearing-in ceremony as one of his key priorities, along with enhancing refugee resettlement services and cutting wait times for application processing. According to the mandate letter, the proposed change is to reflect the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

Sept. 28, 2017: CBC – Inclusion of a reference to treaties is the only proposed change to Canada’s oath for newcomers. A revised oath of citizenship that will require new Canadians to faithfully observe the country’s treaties with Indigenous people 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.”

May 29, 2019 – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today introduced Bill C-99, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act, to change Canada’s Oath of Citizenship to include clear reference to the rights of Indigenous peoples. The proposed amendment to the Oath reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation, and a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. It also demonstrates the Government’s commitment to responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Dec. 19, 2019 – the mandate latter for the new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino states: “Complete the legislative work on changes to the Canadian Oath of Citizenship to reflect the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action’.

The new proposed language adds references to Canada’s Constitution and the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples:

Proposed New Oath of Citizenship

“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”.

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has worked with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and has engaged in consultations with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami to ensure the Oath of Citizenship reflects the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action.

The oath is a solemn declaration that citizenship applicants take, promising to obey Canadian laws while fulfilling their duties as Canadian citizens. All citizenship candidates 14 years or older who apply for a grant of citizenship must take the oath as the last step before becoming Canadian citizens.