Indigenous Marriage Solemnization

Published on October 09, 2020

This government is proud to build a more inclusive province by legally recognizing the role of Indigenous marriage officiants and ceremonies. Minister Rickford has announced the government’s amendments to the Marriage Act that will now legally acknowledge the role Indigenous communities and organizations in designating marriage officiants. Once registered under the Act, officiants belonging to and recognized by a band, a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit organization or community in Ontario may now perform marriage ceremonies according to their customs and traditions.


We are answering the calls made by our Indigenous partners for greater flexibility around marriage solemnization that respects the diversity and traditions of Indigenous communities, and reflects Ontario’s commitment to advancing reconciliation. Through the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020, we amended the Marriage Act to recognize the role of Indigenous communities and organizations to appoint persons who may be registered to solemnize marriages in Ontario.


This amendment addresses the unique cultural practices and ceremonies of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples, and is a result of feedback received from interested Indigenous individuals, communities and organizations across Ontario. 


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