Canada

AFN national chief demands Queen apologize for past wrongs | CBC News

The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said late Wednesday the Queen must apologize for the Crown’s “ongoing failure to fulfil its treaty agreements” with Indigenous peoples, and suggested there should be some sort of “restitution” for harms perpetrated by the Canadian government in her name.

RoseAnne Archibald met with Prince Charles today at a reception in Rideau Hall following his tour of Ottawa with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Archibald later told reporters the Queen needs to apologize for both the government’s conduct and that of the Anglican Church of Canada, which ran some of the residential schools that forcibly took First Nations children in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The church itself already apologized in 1993. It also paid significant damages to survivors.

The Queen is the titular head — officially the “supreme governor” — of the Church of England, which is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion. She does not hold any official position with the Anglican Church in Canada.

Archibald said the Queen must “apologize to survivors and intergenerational trauma survivors” in her capacity as “the leader of the Anglican faith for the role the church played in institutions of assimilation and genocide in Canada.”

It is not clear if the Queen herself can actually apologize for Canadian abuses. It would be unusual for the Queen to issue that sort of statement. The Governor General, as the sovereign’s representative in Canada, usually takes the lead on all royal matters.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for residential school abuses in 2008 and initiated the compensation program that paid out more than $3.2 billion to survivors.

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