Statement from Minister Mendicino on first declarations of new Oath of Citizenship

From: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Taking Care: We recognize that our response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 94 comes at a difficult time for many and that our efforts to honour victims and families may act as an unwelcome reminder to those who have suffered hardships through generations of government policies that were harmful to Indigenous peoples. We encourage all those who need some support at this time to reach out and know that support is always there for you through Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 (toll free) or the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For immediate assistance to those who may need it, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

Ottawa, June 22, 2021-The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the following statement:

“Canada’s Oath of Citizenship is more than words. It is a public declaration of belonging. It is an acknowledgement of newly gained rights and newly charged responsibilities. It is a commitment to Canada-past, present and future.

“Today, for the very first time, new Canadians took an Oath of Citizenship that recognizes First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights.

“The new Oath of Citizenship recognizes that Indigenous rights are both enshrined in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and that they derive from Indigenous peoples’ presence on this land since time immemorial. A direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 94, the new Oath is now law through Bill C-8, which received Royal Assent last night.

“This morning, I joined new Canadians at the very first citizenship ceremony featuring the new Oath. It was a profound moment. With these new changes to our Oath of Citizenship, and June being National Indigenous History Month, I encourage all Canadians to learn about the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, to acknowledge our history, and to support the important work of reconciliation.”

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