Jully Black to Perform "O Canada" with Lyric Change at Toronto Metropolitan University Graduation

She'll sing the national anthem at the inaugural graduation ceremony for the Lincoln Alexander School of Law

Photo: Anna Keena Photography

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 27, 2023

Jully Black has been enlisted to perform her changed version of the national anthem at the graduation ceremony for the first cohort of Lincoln Alexander School of Law students at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) today.

As CBC reports, the singer — who made waves by altering the "O Canada" lyrics to "Our home on native land" at the NBA all-star game in February — was asked to sing by the school because she reflects the "core values" of the law program, which launched in 2020.

The program is committed to diversity, inclusion and reconciliation, as is the institution at large; TMU changed its name from Ryerson University last spring, foregoing the namesake of Egerton Ryerson, who is widely considered to be the architect of the residential school system.

"As a Black, born Canadian woman, to me [the ceremony] is showing 'OK, this is what Canada does look like. Not could look like,'" Black told CBC of her decision to accept the invitation.

Back in April, the artist was honoured by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) for her solidarity with Indigenous communities with the updated anthem. The slight change in wording from "Our home and native land" powerfully recognizes that so-called Canada was built on settler colonialism — which, naturally, prompted a lot of backlash from racist patriots.

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