THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN OF CANADA

Inclusive Wording of the National Anthem

March 4, 2010

The Right Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister:

RE: INCLUSIVE WORDING FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
The original English words for “O Canada” were gender neutral. “All thy sons” was adopted by Act of Parliament in 1914.

Our National Anthem should be one to which everyone in Canada can relate; the words “native land” refer only to people who were born in Canada, and the word “sons” is not gender inclusive.

In 2005 the National Council of Women of Canada formally adopted as policy that the words of the National Anthem be inclusive of everyone. Since that time we have been urging the Government of Canada to change the words of the National Anthem to make them more inclusive by changing “native land” to cherished land, and “all thy sons” to all of us.

We strongly urge all members of Parliament to support the changes as noted above and make our National Anthem truly inclusive.

Sincerely,

Karen Dempsey
NCWC President

cc: Hon. Michael Ignatieff
Hon. Jack Layton
Hon. Gilles Duceppe

The National Council of Women of Canada is a federation comprised of Local Councils, Provincial Councils, and National Organizations. Founded in 1893, it was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1914 and has been designated by the Government of Canada as being of national historic significance for its role in Canadian women’s history. For more information, consult our web site at www.ncwc.ca or contact our national office at #506, 251 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1X3.

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