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 Status||Oct.4, 2021||COMPLETE|
|Previous Status||June 21, 2021||COMPLETE|
Why “In Progress”?
Bill C-99 was re-introduced on October 22, 2020 to replace the version that died with the dissolution of Parliament on June 21, 2019. Bill C-8 “An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 94)” passed Third Reading in the Senate on June 10, 2021 and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2021 and is now law. 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.
Evolution of Bill C-99 and Bill C-8
House of Commons
October 22, 2020 – Bill C-8 “An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 94)” introduced in the House of Commons – First reading
Dec. 10, 2021 – Second Reading and Referral to Committee
June 3, 2021 – Third reading
June 3, 2021 – First Reading
June 8, 2021 – Second Reading
June 10, 2021 – Third reading. Bill passed without amendment
June 21, 2021 – Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes law
Evolution of Bill C-99
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’.
June 21, 2019 – Bill C-99 died with the dissolution of parliament
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.
The new proposed language adds references to Canada’s Constitution and the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
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.
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.