National Chief RoseAnne Archibald of the Assembly of First Nations, President Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and President Cassidy Caron of the Métis National Council, together with the Rt. Hon. Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, had the honour of meeting with His Majesty King Charles III at Buckingham Palace this morning.
They discussed the opportunity they all have now to work together to deepen the relationship between the Crown, and the King, specifically, with Indigenous peoples in Canada. It was the only audience with The King granted to Canadians during the lead up to the Coronation, which takes place on May 6.
The National Indigenous Leaders all expressed interest in welcoming the King to First Nations, Inuit and Métis homelands at the earliest opportunity.
National Chief Archibald spoke to the sacred covenants between First Nations and the Crown that predate confederation and were made on a Nation-to-Nation basis. She proposed a healing path forward based upon mutual concerns and priorities with His Majesty that include climate change, entrepreneurship, and cultural preservation.
President Obed spoke about the work of the Inuit Crown Partnership Committee as an example of the Crown’s influence on reconciliation in Canada, and the interest of Inuit leaders in furthering discussions to repatriate items of cultural importance from British museums.
President Caron said that relationships are built over 100 cups of tea and that she was pleased to be able to share the first cup of tea together and impart on The King the stories that come from communities as illustrative of the long relationship that has existed between the Crown and Métis communities.
His Majesty the King shared information about his interests and priorities, including climate change and Indigenous knowledge, housing and moving forward on issues related to reconciliation.
All leaders recognized the positive nature of the discussion and felt that the meeting was more than symbolic but was in fact a sincerely meaningful meeting and the start of a new relationship with this new Monarch.