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Indigenous Leader Reflects on Monarchy’s Colonial Legacy

For many Indigenous peoples across Canada, the death of Queen Elizabeth II was not an occasion to mourn, but an opportunity to re-examine the colonial monarchy’s legacy of conquest, and leaders encouraged the new king to share the doctrines of discovery. calls to condemn

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died Thursday at the age of 96, beginning a period of formal mourning in both Britain and Canada.

However, looking back at her 70-year legacy is likely to evoke bitter memories and anger at those whose land and culture were stolen in the name of the crown.

“Since colonization began, we have always had a difficult relationship with Indigenous Peoples here in Canada,” British Columbia Indigenous Area Chief Terry Teesey told CTV National News.

“We all know what happened in the last 100 years with boarding school policies and genocide policies like the Indian Act and putting us on reserves and taking our land. .”

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin acknowledged this dissonance. thursday afternoon statement Honor the memory of the Queen.

“Mention of the crown evokes mixed reactions among Canadians,” he wrote. “Indigenous peoples in particular equate the monarchy with a long history of colonization and domination. I have no doubt that he specifically recognized the need to deal with failure and make way for change.”

With the throne passed to Charles III, Teezy said it may be time for a change.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to change our relationship with the monarchy, our relationship with the crown.”

When Europeans appeared on the shores of what is now called Canada hundreds of years ago, they used a colonization framework called the Doctrine of Discovery to seize land that had already been occupied. was justified.

The doctrine of discovery began as a series of papal bulls and became the legal precedent used by colonists to claim “undiscovered” lands in the name of their monarch.

Although formally rejected by Canada last year, this doctrine has never been abandoned by the Crown itself.

“What we want from King Charles III is to abolish and condemn the doctrine of discovery,” Teesey said. And what we want is further decolonization of these lands, not just what we asked earlier as an apology.”

Roseanne Archibald, National Chief of Staff to the Indigenous Peoples Congress, statement on twitter The Queen’s passing on Sunday brings mixed emotions to many.

“Keep in mind that grief and accountability can coexist in the same space at the same time,” she wrote.

She said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 45th call to action in its final report called for a “Royal Declaration of Reconciliation to be issued by the King” to reaffirm the interstate relationship between the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the King. ‘, he added.

Part of this call to action is to renounce the doctrine of discovery, to adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples nationwide, and to establish appropriate treaty relationships to ensure that indigenous peoples are equal partners. to renew or establish.

The monarchy is more than just a distant and symbolic overseer for Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The historic treaties signed by the royal family are still being reinterpreted in court today, and have a direct impact on the Indigenous communities involved.

For example, in 2018, the Ontario High Court ruled that the King is obligated to increase pensions paid in connection with a particular set of treaties.

The Robinson-Huron Treaty and the Robinson-Superior Treaty, also known simply as the Robinson Treaty, concerned the lands around Lake Huron and Lake Superior north of Lake Superior and was signed in 1850.

In 2001, Anisina Abe plaintiffs filed a lawsuit, noting that a provision of the treaty promised to increase annual pension payments in line with increased income in surrendered territories. The last time it was recalculated was over 100 years ago, in 1875, when it was raised from about $1.70 to $4 per person.

A 2018 ruling ruled that these payments would need to be increased by the King, but the lengthy legal battle meant that “bringing the issue of treaty fraud to court is an expensive and time-consuming process. ‘, notes a special report from the Yellowhead Institute. .

Ensuring that these treaties are fairly upheld and interpreted is a big part of any settlement, experts say.

Now that Charles III is in power, it remains to be seen whether there will be any real change in the relationship between Canada’s royal family and its Indigenous peoples.

Archibald told CTV’s Power Play on Friday that when he recently met Charles III before the Queen died, he felt “really honest about wanting to be part of the solution.”

“I ask him to tell his late mother that he needs a royal apology for his failures, especially for the destructive nature of colonization of First Nations peoples and his role as head of the Church of England and the royal family. I asked…that church, and many of the institutions of assimilation and genocide,” she said.

Teesey refers to King Charles III’s recent visit to the Yukon, where he “talked to survivors of boarding schools and the atrocities the monarchy imposed on indigenous peoples in Canada and elsewhere. ”, showing the possibility that change is possible.

“I think there is a real opportunity to change that relationship, because as part of reconciliation, it needs to change that relationship, not just with the monarchy, but with all levels of government.”


With files from CTV National News Reporter Vanessa Lee



Indigenous Leader Reflects on Monarchy’s Colonial Legacy

Source link Indigenous Leader Reflects on Monarchy’s Colonial Legacy

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