The Oath of Citizenship
Canadian citizenship legislation requires citizenship candidates 14 years or older to take the Oath of Citizenship on the day they become Canadian.
The Oath of Citizenship is a solemn declaration that citizenship applicants who have been granted citizenship take, promising to obey Canadian laws while fulfilling their duties as Canadian citizens. Taking the Oath means embracing Canadian values and traditions while pledging allegiance to Canada as a democratic constitutional monarchy.
Taking the Oath of Citizenship is an integral part of the citizenship process, and the act of taking the Oath reflects the Canadian values of social cohesion, openness and transparency in an open, free, democratic and diverse Canada.
This proposed change in Bill C-99 to change Canada’s Oath of Citizenship to include clear reference to the rights of Indigenous peoples is aimed at advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action within the broader reconciliation framework. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is a Government priority. The Government of Canada’s goal is to achieve a fundamental and profound shift in the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples, in order to move forward together as true partners in Confederation. Reconciliation is not only an Indigenous issue, it’s a Canadian imperative and will take partners at all levels to advance this journey.
Text of the Current 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, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
Proposed new text:
“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 Oath of Citizenship is recited at a citizenship ceremony and the ceremony is the final legal step to becoming a Canadian citizen. During the ceremony, participants accept the rights and responsibilities of citizenship by taking the Oath of Citizenship after which they become a Canadian citizen and receive a certificate of citizenship.
In the last 10 years, approximately 1.7 million people have become Canadian citizens.
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