‘Our home on Native land’: Crombie motion pushes for permanent change to national anthem

Singer Jully Black is garnering headlines for changing the Canadian anthem in a high profile moment. Stella Acquisto asks Black what prompted her to change a key word, and finds out the impact she hopes the moment will have.

Saying it would advance the cause of reconciliation, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie will table a motion to ask the federal government to permanently change Canada’s National Anthem from “our home and native land” to “our home on Native land.”

The push comes after singer Jully Black made that small but significant alteration to the lyrics while singing O Canada at the NBA all-star game.

Now Crombie wants the feds to make it permanent. Her motion, which is heading to Mississauga city council on Wednesday, proposes the city writes a letter to the federal government urging the change and encouraging other big city mayors to make a similar request.

Crombie’s motion said Black’s alteration “represented a change in a single word of the anthem that had a ripple effect across the country.”

The motion adds that “the new wording represents a truth which is critical to the understanding of present-day Canada and that such a change is consistent with the federal government’s commitment to Reconciliation.”

Black was lauded by Indigenous groups for the small but bold tweak.

In April the Juno-winning R&B singer was honoured at an Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, where National Chief Rose Anne Archibald said her lyric change “has shifted the consciousness across the country, simply for singing the truth.”

The move was not without its critics though, but Black said they should reflect on why the change would bother them.

“I think it’s important for them to now go into their private space and ask themselves why,” she told The Canadian Press.

“Why is it so hard to acknowledge the fact when it’s not going to take away from your existing privilege?”

The last time the anthem was altered was back in 2018 with “in all thy sons command” was changed to a gender-neutral “in all of us command.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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