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Indigenous marriage officiants and ceremonies now recognized in Ontario

TORONTO — Couples in Ontario can now be legally married by an Indigenous officiant who can perform traditional ceremonies.

The officiant will be able to submit the marriage for registration with the province.

Indigenous communities will be able to appoint officiants to perform marriages.

The province says the changes recognize the role of Indigenous communities and organizations in designating officiants.

The minister responsible says the new measure will enhance inclusiveness.

The amendments under the Marriage Act are effective immediately.

“We have listened to advice from Indigenous partners and acted to ensure the Marriage Act respects the diversity of Indigenous communities and cultures, reflecting our commitment to advancing reconciliation,” Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 8, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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