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Canada First Nations chief won't join UK royals for 'empty gesture' ceremony

  • arikara (882 posts)
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    Canada First Nations chief won't join UK royals for 'empty gesture' ceremony

    Grand Chief Stewart Phillip denounces symbolic British Columbia event with William and Kate, calling it a ‘public charade’ amid indigenous struggles

    One of British Columbia’s most influential First Nations chiefs has turned down an invitation to participate in a reconciliation ceremony with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Canada, describing the symbolic ceremony as a “public charade” that papers over the Canadian government’s failure to keep its promises to indigenous peoples.

    The Black Rod ceremony is slated to take place on Monday evening, in a private sitting room at the stately Government House in Victoria. Officials have spent more than a year carefully crafting every moment of the ceremony, which will see Prince William add a carved silver ring to the Black Rod, a ceremonial staff created in 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

    The staff is currently adorned with three rings, representing the province, Canada and the link to the UK. Prince William is expected to add a fourth ring – engraved with eagle feathers and a canoe – that will symbolise First Nations in the province.

    “Reconciliation has to be more than empty symbolic gestures,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs in explaining his decision to decline the royal invitation. He had been asked to hand the ring to Prince William and invite the royal to affix the ring on the Black Rod. Last week he and the chiefs of the 115 First Nations represented by his organisation decided it would not be appropriate to attend or participate in the event. “The Chiefs-in-Assembly just didn’t feel that it was appropriate to feed into that public illusion that everything is okay.”



    From Laila Yuile’s blog:
    “True leaders don’t give consoling answers, they take constructive actions.” ~Amit Kalantri

    Now here’s my view. I was frankly overwhelmed when I read this. Let me tell you why… and in all honesty it’s a bit sad that such moral courage is so rare to see in leaders these days, that it leaves me rather amazed by it all.

    I was in the courtroom the day the ruling came down on the Site C campers at historic Rocky Mountain Fort, an entire part of this saga that many new to the Site C debacle are completely unaware of. You can read the posts here for some back history https://lailayuile.com/the-case-to-stop-site-c-construction-links-news/

    Grand Chief walks the walk. He is as unpretentious and real as it gets. I saw his reaction then and this is a man who feels and thinks very deeply. And clearly this was not an easy decision when faced with social and political pressures to partake in a ceremony clearly designed to show that things are different now…

    Only they aren’t. And Grand Chief didn’t partake in the ceremony for the reasons so eloquently mentioned in the press release and the story above.




    AnneD, Grey, Mom Cat and 2 othersHaikugal, tk2kewl like this

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  • Haikugal (6816 posts)
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    1. This is what's needed. Kudos to the First Nations!