Prince Charles and Camilla’s sorrow over Canadian church schools abuse horrors – World News

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During the royal tour of Canada, Prince Charles said the society ‘must find new ways to come to terms with the more darker aspects of the past, acknowledging, reconciling and striving to do better’

Prince Charles in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

Prince Charles has called on communities to come together and deal with “the darker aspects of the past”, amid calls for the Queen to apologise for the brutal treatment of indigenous children at Canadian residential schools at the hands of the Anglican church.

On the first day of his royal tour with the Duchess of Cornwall, the heir said the process “starts with listening”.

A scandal involving the removal of children from their communities before placing them into national schools raged from the late 19th Century until 1996.

Community leaders have in recent years demanded apologies and reparations from the Anglican Church which ran 36 residential schools, the most of any religious denomination apart from the Roman Catholic Church, and operated more than 150 Indian day schools between 1820 and 1969.

Indigenous groups have long campaigned for reparations from the Canadian government and in recent times have begun to receive acknowledgement for the horrors that existed over decades.

After being welcomed to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador at St John’s airport in the east of the country, the royals were joined by President Justin Trudeau at Confederation Building.

Charles clasped the hands of several of the indigenous leaders representing the Innu Nation, the NunatuKavut Community Council, Saqamaw and Chief of the Miawpokek First Nation and Chief of the Qalipu First Nation.

Prince Charles and Camilla in Canada


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Charles inspects the Guards of Honour ahead of a ceremony

In a speech Charles, 73, said: “As we look towards our collective future, as one people sharing one planet, we must find new ways to come to terms with the more darker aspects of the past, acknowledging, reconciling and striving to do better.

“It is process that starts with listening.”

Following previous public apologies from the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis last month to residential school survivors, president of the Métis National Council Cassidy Caron says the Queen should be the next to apologise.

She said: “There’s so much healing that is needed

“We need basic human necessities in our communities and it stems from colonisation.

“It stems from assimilation and some financial reparations are absolutely helpful in helping us move forward.”

After his speech, Charles and Camilla took part in a “solemn moment of reflection and prayer” in a garden dedicated to indigenous victims of the school system – which saw thousands die or be abused.

Caron also said she plans to deliver her request for the queen to formally apologise when she met the royal couple later tomorrow on the Ottawa leg of their tour.

Canada has been coming to terms with the grim discovery last year of hundreds of human remains in unmarked graves at former church-run schools – institutions to which indigenous children were forcibly relocated for generations.

More than 150,000 indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are visiting for three days


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The tour forms part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations


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Thousands of children died of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.

The Canadian government has acknowledged that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages.

Piita Irniq, a former commissioner of Nunavut, said he wanted Charles and Camilla to learn about the Indigenous cultures residential schools tried to destroy during their visit.

“They should also apologise sincerely for the loss of our very Indigenous being,” said Irniq, who survived Sir Joseph Bernier Federal Day School in Chesterfield Inlet, 1,095 km west of Iqaluit.

“That would be a really good thing to do, also for healing and reconciliation between Anglicans, as well as the Royal people.”

As part of connecting with local people, Charles interchanged between English and French, praising the province for last week welcoming the 166 Ukrainian refugees, adding how the nation is: “A safe haven to those in need; A Respected leader on the world stage; A Much-needed voice in advocating for a greener and more sustainable future.”

Charles’s maiden speech on the tour was welcomed by community leaders after criticism of recent royal tours to the Caribbean by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Both faced criticism from campaigners seeking reparations for slavery or their nations to become republics, with some images from William and Kate’s visit to Jamaica accused by critics of harking back to colonial days.

During their three-day trip, part of Canada’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Charles and Camilla will also highlight causes they have championed in the past, from supporting the victims of domestic abuse, highlighting the issue of climate change and recognising the role of Canada’s Armed Forces.



Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock)

Charles and Camilla found time during their whistle stop visit to Newfoundland and Labrador to visit a local brewery famous for its 2000 year old ‘Iceberg beer’ and ‘iceberg water’.

The couple will land in Ottawa tonight before heading to Yellowknife, the capital city of the Northwest Territories on Thursday.

In Ottawa, Charles will discuss the impact of global warming and engage with leaders from across public, private and philanthropic sectors working to build a green economy.

With the Northwest Territories warming at about three times the global rate, Charles will visit its ice road passage or Yellowknife Bay to see the impact of climate change on local communities.

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