The pre-coronation engagement will be at Buckingham Palace andl include Assembly of First Nations National Chief Roseanne Archibald, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed and Métis National Council president Cassidy Caron.
“I had a conversation with His Majesty just earlier today because obviously things will be very busy on Saturday for the coronation,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday in Ottawa. “We talked about Indigenous reconciliation, which is a priority of his.”
Cody Groat, an assistant professor at Western University’s history and Indigenous studies departments, says Indigenous leaders from Canada have been meeting with monarchs since Queen Victoria’s reign in the 19th century.
“What is new in this case is that these meetings are taking place in the lead up to the coronation, as part of the actual coronation ceremonies,” Groat told CTVNews.ca. “It’s a clear recognition of Charles meeting [Indigenous] leaders the same ways that he is meeting heads of state this week.”
King Charles last met with Canadian Indigenous leaders a year ago, during a three-day May 2022 royal tour to mark his late mother’s seven decades on the throne.
“I think that Charles is very aware of the cultural and political climate right now on perspectives of the monarchy,” Groat said. “One thing that I always bring attention to is the fact that we currently have Mary Simon as the Governor General, an Inuk woman, the first Indigenous Governor General, as the official representative of King Charles III.”
Charles will also hold audiences the same day with the King of the Ashanti of Ghana as well as Amazonian Indigenous leaders. Charles is hosting visiting dignitaries this week in the run-up to his coronation ceremony on Saturday, May 6. Groat says it’s important meetings with Indigenous representatives take place “on equal standing” with prime ministers.
“All of our treaties are with the Crown, and that’s because Indigenous peoples recognize ourselves as sovereign entities,” Groat explained. “Indigenous nations are sovereign within our territories, and that is why we are meeting with King Charles III as an equal.”