In becoming a naturalized Canadian citizen you must recite the oath of citizenship, which some view as offensive to their values. In an attempt to get around the required pledge of allegiance to the Queen of Canada; Bar-Natan one of three people who challenged and formally rescinded the embedded Oath of Allegiance through court wherein the judge ruled the oath is not a personal allegiance, but that it is a required acceptance of how the Canadian society is in-fact structured.
While challenges are still being waged, the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations initiated changes within the pledge that now include observance to treaties with Indigenous Peoples.
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.”
On December 3 the municipal officers were sworn into their official positions, this ceremony includes a signing of a declaration, an oath of office and pledge of allegiance to the Queen, this legality is a required part of the trust and loyalty the sworn in officer now represents.
Gaetan Baillargeon, a member of the Constance Lake First Nation, was to be sworn in when he addressed the clerk expressing that he would like help to amend the wording of section 4 referencing the pledge of allegiance to the Queen, which he does find in conflict with his own views of Aboriginal people and the Crown.
His request was refused leaving him with no choice but to renounce his seat.
The section that Baillargeon has objected to reads: “I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.”
This is a very unique situation for the democratic process Canadians have come to rely upon for a greater sense of security, but, what about the Constance Lake First Nation members who live in the area now void of the security they may have banked on.
This is one way to mock the system, and create a more open and contentious dialog on who is actually on the other end of our treaty agreements, and provides anecdotal evidence as to who can and who cannot actually represent the real interests of the Onkwehonwe.
These challenges create opportunities to build a better understanding of what is fully meant by “Honor of the Crown” or to “…bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen”; this always was meant to include the respect for our treaties and should obligate the municipality to see past their own personal interests.
It’s time that the Declaration of Office also reflect the changes made to the Oath of Citizenship.