Prince Charles addresses ‘dark’ and ‘difficult’ history of abuses against Indigenous people in Canada

Prince Charles has called for 'healing' amid demands that the Royal Family apologizes for the crimes against Indigenous children in Canada

Prince Charles addresses ‘dark’ history of abuses against Indigenous people in Canada
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Charles has acknowledged the history of abuses against the Indigenous people in Canada, calling for 'reconciliation' during a speech on his first day of a three-day tour with Duchess Camilla to the Commonwealth realm on Tuesday. 

Prince Charles has called for 'healing' in Canada's Indigenous community, in light of its 'dark' and 'difficult' history of abuse at the hands of the Anglican Church. 

The 73-year-old made the powerful statements on Tuesday, 17 May, during the first engagement of his three-day visit to the Commonwealth nation with Duchess Camilla in honor of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. His message comes just two months after Prince William and Kate Middleton were slammed for being 'tone deaf'  in Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas after perpetuating 'colonial' ideals.  

Speaking at the Confederation Building in St John's, the Prince of Wales recognized the longstanding suffering of the Indigenous people in Canada and declared that he and future Queen Consort Camilla were eager to listen and learn. 

Prince Charles

(Image credit: Getty)

“We must find new ways to come to terms with the darker and more difficult aspects of the past, acknowledging, reconciling, and striving to do better,” he said during the speech, which was delivered in both French and English. “It is a process that starts with listening. My wife and I look forward to listening to you, and learning.”

In 2021, hundreds of human remains were discovered in former church-run residential schools in Canada. From the late 1800s until the 1990s, more than 150,000 indigenous children were forced to attend at least 139 of these institutions. Abuses at the schools, which aimed to 'assimilate' First Nations minors into Canadian society, were commonplace. 

"I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss with the Governor-General the vital process of reconciliation in this country – not a one-off act, of course, but an ongoing commitment to healing, respect, and understanding. I know that our visit here this week comes at an important moment - with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples across Canada committing to reflect honestly and openly on the past and to forge a new relationship for the future."

Charles and Camilla

(Image credit: Getty)

Charles and Camilla also participated in a “solemn moment of reflection and prayer” and observed a traditional smudging performed by indigenous leaders at the Heart Gardens, which has been dedicated the victims of the abuses. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.