(BBC News – May 18, 2022) – Indigenous leaders met Prince Charles in Canada and asked for an apology from the Queen over the “assimilation and genocide” of indigenous schoolchildren.
RoseAnne Archibald, Assembly of First Nations national chief, said the prince “acknowledged” failures in handling the relationship with indigenous people.
Canada is dealing with a scandal which saw indigenous children die or be abused in residential schools.
There have been calls for the Queen to apologise over the issue.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been on a three-day tour of Canada – where the Queen is head of state – to mark the 96-year-old monarch’s Platinum Jubilee.
Ms Archibald appealed directly to Prince Charles for an apology on behalf of the Queen during a reception in the capital Ottawa, attended by indigenous leaders, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others.
She said: “I asked for an apology from his mother the Queen, the head of the Anglican church, for whatever happened in the institutions of assimilation and genocide.
“I also asked for an apology for the failures of the Crown in that relationship that we have with them, in our treaty relationship with them.”
The First Nations chief added that the prince did not apologise but “acknowledged” failures by Canadian governments in handling the relationship between the Crown and indigenous people, which she said “really meant something”.
She said this alone was “not enough” but “a first step” and that when an apology happened it would represent “one step on the road to healing for First Nations”.
Cassidy Caron, Metis National Council President, who had said before the event she would also ask for an apology from the Queen, said the prince was “listening” and “acknowledging” what had happened in Canada’s past which was “very important” for the country.
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The discovery of evidence of human remains at former church-run schools last year triggered a national reckoning over Canada’s legacy of residential schools – where indigenous children had been forcibly relocated to for decades.
The government-funded boarding schools were part of a policy which attempted to assimilate indigenous children and destroy indigenous cultures and languages.
In a speech on the first day of his tour of Canada, the prince pledged to listen to and learn from the country as it starts the process of reconciliation with indigenous communities.
Prince Charles and Camilla also visited a Heart Garden in the east coast settlement of St John’s, dedicated to the victims of the residential school scandal, and met survivors during a ceremony of remembrance.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recently visited Canada and apologised for the “terrible crime” of the Anglican Church’s involvement in the country’s residential schools – and for his church’s “grievous sins” against the indigenous peoples of Canada.
The royal couple will conclude their tour of Canada on Thursday by travelling to the Northwest Territories, where the prince will visit its ice road passage and Yellowknife Bay to see the impact of climate change on local communities.
He will also visit the Canadian Rangers to mark the organisation’s 75th anniversary, while the duchess will tour a local school in Dettah to learn about teaching their indigenous language.
Northern Territory police minister Kate Worden, who is also the minister for domestic violence, said it had been a ‘heartbreaking week’ after two DV incidents. Photograph: Aaron Bunch/AAP
Pope Francis attends a community event near Nakasuk Elementary School in Iqaluit on Friday afternoon. In his speech, the Pope asked forgiveness and referred to the ‘indignation and shame’ he felt about Canada’s residential schools. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
(By Sarah Krymalowski · CBC News · Iqaluit, NU - August 04, 2022 - Used with Permission) - It's up to a Nunavut judge...
According to the report, among all workers who earned at least $5,000 in 2019, more Indigenous workers (39.2 per cent) than non-Indigenous workers (33.9 per cent) received CERB payments.
A panel of First Nations chiefs and residential school survivors spoke to media Thursday. Elder Gordon Burnstick from Alexander First Nation, Rod Alexis from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Chief Tony Alexis from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Treaty 6 First Nations Grand Chief George Arcand Jr., Ermineskin Cree Nation Chief Randy Ermineskin, Louis Bull Tribe Chief Desmond Bull and Alexander First Nation elder Victoria Arcand spoke at the event. (Jamie McCannel/CBC)
Dignitaries from the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, the federal government and the provincial government were on hand to sign an agreement to transfer 690 hectares of land from the western part of Batoche back to Métis people of Saskatchewan. (Trever Bothorel/CBC News)