Canada has welcomed generations of newcomers to our shores to help us build a free, law-abiding, and prosperous society. For 400 years, settlers and immigrants have contributed to the diversity and richness of our country, which is built on a proud history and a strong identity.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federal state. Canadians are bound together by a shared commitment to the rule of law and to the institutions of parliamentary government.
Canadians take pride in their identity and have made sacrifices to defend their way of life. By coming to Canada and taking this important step toward Canadian citizenship, you are helping to write the continuing story of Canada.
Canadian citizens enjoy many rights, but Canadians also have responsibilities. They must obey Canada’s laws, and respect the rights and freedoms of others.
Canada is known around the world as a strong and free country. Canadians are proud of their unique identity. We have inherited the oldest continuous constitutional tradition in the world. We are the only constitutional monarchy in North America. Our institutions uphold a commitment to Peace, Order, and Good Government, a key phrase in Canada’s original constitutional document in 1867, the British North America Act. A belief in ordered liberty, enterprise, hard work, and fair play have enabled Canadians to build a prosperous society in a rugged environment from our Atlantic shores to the Pacific Ocean and to the Arctic Circle—so much so that poets and songwriters have hailed Canada as the “Great Dominion.”
To understand what it means to be Canadian, it is important to know about our three founding peoples— Aboriginal, French, and British.
- Discover Canada, the Canadian Citizenship Study Guide