Indigenous leaders to join Canadian delegation attending Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral

The leaders of three national Indigenous organizations in Canada will be joining the Canadian delegation heading to the United Kingdom (UK)  Thursday (Sept. 15), to attend the State Funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Natan Obed and President of the Métis National Council, Cassidy Caron will be part of the Canadian delegation.

The Prime Minister’s Office released the list of  the Canadian delegation   that will attend the State Funeral on Sept. 19 in London, England.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was steadfast in her service to Canada, the Commonwealth, and its people. It is with a heavy heart, but deep appreciation, that we will come together to honour Her Majesty – whose lifetime of public service is an extraordinary example to us all,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in releasing the list.

Prime Minister Trudeau will be joined by his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, accompanied by her husband, Whit Frazer, will travel to the UK on Sept. 16.

Gov. Gen. Simon was sworn in as Canada’s first Indigenous governor general in July 2021 and is the 30th governor general since Confederation. Born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec), she gained international recognition for her work on Artic and Indigenous issues, and for her efforts in advocating for Inuit rights, youth, education, and culture.

Gov. Gen. Simon said she has spent the days following the Queen’s death reflecting on the regent’s legacy and is preparing for “difficult” conversations ahead.

She also spoke on reconciliation and how the new monarch, King Charles III, will play a role when it comes to building a “renewed relationship” with Indigenous people in Canada as he has been open to discussing different Indigenous issues.

Canada will also be represented by former governors general the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean and the Right Honourable David Johnston, as well as former prime ministers the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, and the Right Honourable Stephen Harper.

They will also be joined by Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief RoseAnne Archibald who faced an attempt at suspension from her position in June 2022. As the first female national Chief, Archibald has 31 years of experience in First Nations politics.

Through the AFN website, she shared a statement on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. It read, “Throughout her reign, she has been an influential role model for generations of women and will be remembered for normalizing and evolving the perception of strong female leadership.”

Archibald also said that the Royal Family led an “institution of assimilation and genocide” and that there needs to be an apology from the Crown for the destructiveness of colonization on First Nations people.

President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Natan Obed, who is serving his third and final term as ITK president, will also be present. He is committed to bringing reconciliation between Inuit and the Crown in Canada.

During Pope Francis’ visit to Canada this past summer, Obed told him that all other Catholic church priests and employees who are still alive should face charges for the crimes committed in residential schools across the country.

Also recognized for her efforts during the papal visit, joining them will be the first elected woman President of the Métis National Council, Cassidy Caron, elected in Sept. 2021.

She advocated for an apology from Queen Elizabeth II during King Charles III’s visit to Canada in May.

The Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet and former High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Janice Charette, and current High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Honourable Ralph Goodale will also attend.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Armed Forces will join uniformed personnel from other Commonwealth countries for the funeral service.

In addition, the Canadian delegation will include members of the Order of Canada Mark Tewksbury, Gregory Charles, and Sandra Oh, as well as Cross of Valour recipient Leslie Arthur Palmer. They will participate in a procession of recipients of national honours as part of the service.

On the day of the funeral, the United Kingdom will be marked in Canada with a National Day of Mourning and a national commemorative ceremony, which will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral in Ottawa, Ont.

The ceremony will be attended by former prime ministers the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney and the Right Honourable Joe Clark, and all Members of Parliament have been invited.

The queen’s ceremony will be broadcast live on CBC and on YouTube by Sky News starting at 6:00 a.m. EST.

If people wish to honour the life and service of Queen Elizabeth II, Canadians are invited to sign the online book of condolences or express their condolences in other ways.

 

Prime Minister Trudeau will be accompanied by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.  Canada will also be represented by former governors general the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean and the Right Honourable David Johnston, as well as former prime ministers the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, and the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. They will be joined by Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Natan Obed, and President of the Métis National Council Cassidy Caron, as well as the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet and former High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Janice Charette, and current High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Honourable Ralph Goodale.

Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and representatives of regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces will join uniformed personnel from other Commonwealth countries for the service on September 19.

In addition, the Canadian delegation will include members of the Order of Canada Mark Tewksbury, Gregory Charles, and Sandra Oh and Cross of Valour recipient Leslie Arthur Palmer. They will participate in a procession of recipients of national honours as part of the service.

The day of Her Late Majesty’s State Funeral in the United Kingdom will be marked in Canada with a National Day of Mourning and a national commemorative ceremony held at Christ Church Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral in Ottawa. The ceremony will be attended by former prime ministers the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney and the Right Honourable Joe Clark, and all Members of Parliament have been invited. The ceremony will be broadcast live for everyone to watch.

Quick Facts

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952. She was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, and was Canada’s longest-reigning sovereign, having served for over 70 years.
  • Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as well as the following regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces will participate in the service:
    • The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
    • The Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers
    • The Governor General’s Horse Guards
    • The King’s Own Calgary Regiment
    • Royal 22e Régiment
    • Governor General’s Foot Guards
    • The Canadian Grenadier Guards
    • The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders
    • Le Régiment de la Chaudière
    • The Royal New Brunswick Regiment
    • The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment
    • 48th Highlanders of Canada
    • The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada
    • The Calgary Highlanders
    • Canadian Armed Forces Legal Branch
    • Air Reserve

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