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Governor General wants Indigenous leaders to meet King Charles to ‘reset’ ties: AFN

Mary Simon facilitating opportunity for Indigenous leaders to meet with King before coronation

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon wants Indigenous leaders to meet with King Charles to reset their relationship with the Crown, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said Monday.

Speaking to chiefs gathered in Ottawa, RoseAnne Archibald said she meets frequently with Simon, who is the first Indigenous person to hold the position of Governor General, the King’s representative in Canada.

Archibald said Simon is “facilitating an opportunity for Indigenous leaders to meet with King Charles before his coronation in May.”

She did not divulge further details and Rideau Hall did not immediately to a request for comment.

Simon, an Inuk leader, has said advancing reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is one of her top priorities.

On a recent trip to Finland to mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Canada, Simon brought Indigenous leaders to build better ties with the Sámi, Indigenous people of northern Europe.

There have been questions about what kind of role Indigenous people will have at King Charles’ upcoming coronation.

During his visit to Canada last May, months before the death of Queen Elizabeth II, he signalled an openness to listening to Indigenous people and confronting what he called “the darker and more difficult aspects of the past.”

At the time, Charles said he had spoken with Simon about the “vital process” of reconciliation in Canada.

He said he and his wife Camilla left the country with “heavy hearts” after meeting survivors of the residential school system and told a crowd in Yellowknife that he was deeply moved by hearing of their experiences.

The Crown has faced renewed calls to apologize for its role in colonialism and to renounce a set of papal bills used as the basis for the Doctrine of Discovery, as the Vatican recently did.

—Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

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