Forty new Canadians from 16 countries were sworn in on Canada Day at historic Fort Langley.
They raised their right hands and spoke together, promising they “will be faithful.and bear true allegiance to his Majesty in Charles the Third, King of Canada, his heirs and successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada.”
Then, they were greeted, one by one, by Langley Township Mayor Eric Woodward and Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta.
Among them, siblings Poppy Squires and Josh Squires, from Mission, but originally from London, England, who arrived with a fistful of Canadian flags, and were looking forward to retiring their old passports.
“[It will be] easier to travel coming back into Canada with a Canadian passport instead of an international one,” Poppy told the Langley Advance Times.
Dr. Ross Paul, member of the Order of Canada, presided over swearing-in, saying Canada aspires “to be a happy collaboration of different ethnicities, languages cultures and regions, united by a love of the land and appreciation for the opportunity our beautiful nation offers.
Indigenous representative Kevin Kelly of the Kwantlen First National sang a traditional song of welcome and told the new Canadians to hold on to their culture.
“Never forget where you come from,” Kelly remarked.
“Never lose your language, your traditions, your food. This is who you are as a human being.Always remember your family where you come from.”
In his remarks, Dr. Paul also talked about the “growing realization of how badly our first Nations, Metis and Inuit people have been treated, through concerted attempts to wipe out their languages, beliefs, and cultures, graphically represented by the treatment of their children in residential schools.
“As new Canadians, you may not have been part of this history,” Paul said.
“But you share with me a responsibility to learn everything you can about our indigenous Nations and how we can all work together to build a better and more inclusive Canada for all.”
READ ALSO: VIDEO: Canada Day car show at Langley Speedway
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