In Canada, Prince Charles advocates reconciliation, but does not apologize to First Nations

In Canada, Prince Charles advocates reconciliation, but does not apologize to First Nations

Prince Charles visiting Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories (Canada), where many Indigenous people live, on May 19, 2022.

A pint of beer swallowed with local brewers, a few exchanges with onlookers curious to meet their future sovereign or even a moment of meditation alongside representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora in the Orthodox cathedral of Ottawa to show its full support for the attacked country : Prince Charles, accompanied by his wife, Camilla, paid a three-day visit to Canada. This trip above all allowed the heir to the throne to address two issues; one, to which Prince Charles has long shown a particular attachment, that of global warming, the other, specifically Canadian, around reconciliation with the First Nations.

Nearly a year after the discovery of hundreds of graves of anonymous children in Kamloops, British Columbia, on the site of a residential school for Aboriginals, it is above all this heavy past that haunts Canada today that Prince Charles was confronted several times during this visit. In Newfoundland and Labrador (east of the country), after listening to a prayer in Inuktitut, the Innu language, he was invited by the Governor General of Canada, the representative of Queen Mary Simon, herself from Inuit origin, to engage in dialogue with indigenous peoples. “I encourage you to learn the truth about our history – the good and the bad, she said. In this way, we will promote healing, understanding and respect. And in this way, we will also promote reconciliation. »

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“We must find new ways to come to terms with the darker and more difficult aspects of the past, acknowledging it, coming to terms with each other and striving to do better”, nodded the Prince of Wales. The next day, during a brief meeting in Ottawa, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, RoseAnne Archibald, had the opportunity to be more explicit with the heir to the Crown. “I emphasized (…) on the need for Queen Elizabeth II [qui est cheffe de l’Etat canadien] to acknowledge and then apologize for the Crown’s continued failure to uphold its treaty agreements with its First Nations”, she said.

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But neither in front of her nor in front of the chiefs of the Dene First Nation, met at the end of the journey, in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, the Prince of Wales did not utter the words expected by these Aboriginal communities. He did not issue a formal apology on behalf of the Crown for the injustices perpetrated by British colonization and the mistreatment in residential schools. 1er April, Pope Francis resolved to issue an apology for the first time, on behalf of the Catholic Church.

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