Yesterday at 8:30am, after several months of applications and interviews, I participated in a ceremony to naturalize as a citizen of the United States of America.
I took this step and swore the oath with deep pride in my Canadian roots and with immense gratitude for the USA, where I have grown up and become who I am. I stood yesterday morning as one of 27 immigrants from 19 different countries, all of us making ourselves at home here in a new and abiding way.
There are two things on my mind I wish to share from my process:
I am mindful of those who are native to this land, and I hope and aim to honor your presence, to push against attempts that have been made for centuries to erase your legacy. Claiming home on land that is already occupied feels complicated. It is not simple and I don’t take it lightly. In the midst of all the complications, all the harsh history, I aim to be a good neighbor. So help me.
I consider it a high honor to be counted among the history of those who have immigrated here, to contribute to the shared project of making a more perfect union. I’m also mindful of my privilege, and the absence of tragedy and suffering in my arrival. With my status as a citizen I aim to represent an ethic of welcome and to model a posture of hospitality to those seeking relief, renewal, and promise. So help us all.
Now, here I am, eager to explore the rights and bear the weight of the responsibilities of my new citizenship. It’s good to be here.