CANADA: Prince Charles has pledged to pass along to his mother a request by Canadian Aboriginal leaders for an audience with Canada’s titular head of state, to right old treaties.
“He did affirm he would follow-up with his mother,” National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo said after he and other chiefs met with the Prince of Wales on Tuesday as part of his Diamond Jubilee tour of Canada.
Atleo said their discussion was to recall the times of treaty making and to request an audience at Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763.
The declaration is one of the first documents outlining the British Crown’s relationship with North American Aboriginal people, including the rights Indigenous people had to the lands they occupied.
“The successor government of Canada has really failed to live up to treaty obligations that were first forged even before of Canada was formed,” National Chief Atleo said.
“I think the leadership here was encouraged that that his Royal highness was hearing the outstanding issues and challenges that remain and was prepared to bring this message back to her majesty.”
National Chief Atleo has been vocal about the need for Canada to revisit the original terms of the proclamation and treaties.
Canada has come under fire from the United Nations for its treatment of First Nations people. A UN committee put a spotlight on the disparities that remain between Aboriginal communities and the rest of Canada.
Prince Charles discussed with native leaders after a welcoming ceremony that included “smudging,” a greeting song and prayer.
Members of the British monarchy regularly meet with First Nations leaders from across Canada during their visits to the country.
Notably, Prince Charles met with Canadian First Nations tribes in 1977 when he donned a traditional headdress.
The Prince and Duchess of Cornwall will also visit an Aboriginal university in Regina, Saskatchewan as part of their whirlwind Canadian tour.
The visit marks the 16th trip to Canada for the prince and the second for Camilla.
Before departing Toronto for Regina, Saskatchewan, the couple will participate in an event commemorating the war of 1812 when British troops aided by colonists and Aboriginal people fended off a US invasion of Canada.