Story at a glance
- The Canadian federal government announced Monday that Indigenous people can reclaim their original names on government documents effective immediately.
- Up until now, Indigenous people had to register government documents, such as passports, under their colonial European names.
- The change comes less than a month after the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found at the site of a former residential school in Canada.
Indigenous people in Canada can reclaim their original names on government documents effective immediately, the federal government announced on Monday.
Up until now, Indigenous people had to register government documents, such as passports, under their colonial European names.
“Supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in reclaiming and using their Indigenous names is an integral part of the shared journey of reconciliation. Traditional names are deeply connected to Indigenous languages and cultures, and an individuals’ identity and dignity,” Marco E. L. Mendicino, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said in the news release. “This change means that Indigenous peoples can proudly reclaim their name, dismantling the legacy of colonialism and reflecting their true identity to the world.”
The new policy applies to all Indigenous people, not just residential school survivors and their families.
America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.
The change comes less than a month after the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found at the site of a former residential school in Canada.
According to the Associated Press (AP), First Nations children from the 19th century through the 1970s were forced to attend Christian schools to convert to Christianity and assimilate them into Canadian society.
“We recognize that our response to Call to Action 17 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,” read the government statement on the policy change. “We encourage all those who need some support at this time to reach out and know that support is always there for you through the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310.”
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA
CANADIAN GOVERNMENT ASKS POPE TO APOLOGIZE FOR MASS GRAVES OF INDIGENOUS CHILDREN
TRIBAL POLICE MAY DETAIN NON-NATIVE AMERICANS ON TRIBAL LANDS, SUPREME COURT RULES
CULTURAL PRESSURES RUNNING HIGH AS MARTIN SCORSESE STARTS FILMING ‘KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON’
HAALAND ANNOUNCES NEW INDIGENOUS MISSING & MURDERED UNIT
NEW APP WILL SHOW YOU WHAT INDIGENOUS LAND YOU’RE ON RIGHT NOW
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.