First Nations Leaders in Manitoba Stand United in Acknowledging the Coronation of King Charles III and Reminding the Crown of their Responsibility to Honour the Treaties and Prioritize Reconciliation
April 30, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Anishininew Okimawin (AO), and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Manitoba Regional Office acknowledge the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty the Queen Consort being held in London, England on May 6, 2023. A delegation of Leaders from Manitoba is scheduled to attend as witnesses to the coronation ceremony in England as a reminder to the Crown of their responsibilities as Treaty partners to the First Nations in Manitoba. They also plan to meet with Crown representatives to discuss the importance of the Treaty relationship and speak to the monarch’s role as it relates to First Nation issues moving forward.
First Nations have had a relationship with the Crown that dates to the first contact with settlers. By signing treaties, First Nations and the Crown established terms upon which the sovereign Nations will share resources and coexist as allies and partners upon established Treaty lands. The Treaties were sacred and binding agreements of equal partnership between sovereign Nations. These Treaties have survived the establishment of Canada to what it is today and from which it, as a country, continues to economically benefit from.
Canada and the United Kingdom plan to commemorate this historic day in the form of various celebrations, and Canada states they will host artists and performers “who reflect the values that Canada and His Majesty share, such as protecting the environment, service to others, and celebrating our country’s diversity.” When King Charles III was still prince, he spoke of the importance of reconciliation and the need for a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, but it remains to be seen what role he sees for himself in that as King and Treaty partner to many Indigenous Nations.
“Nation-to-Nation relations between First Nations and the Crown are of particular significance. As sovereign Nations working together to honour our Treaties, we welcome King Charles as a Treaty partner,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “First Nations in Manitoba anticipate that His Majesty will fulfill his obligations of nurturing their Treaty relationships. First Nations citizens in Manitoba greatly value the sacred Treaty relationship with the British Crown and look forward to this renewed partnership, with a focused commitment to reconciliation.”
“The Southern Chiefs’ Organization acknowledges the historic event of the coronation of the King. First Nations leaders will continue to remind the monarch of the importance of our Nation-to-Nation relationship with the Crown,” shared SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “The coronation will cause a wide range of emotions for First Nation citizens. We know there is much room for improvement in the relationship First Nations have with the Crown. I am optimistic his Majesty the King will work diligently to nurture ties with our First Nations to support a strong connection that honours the sacred Treaties.”
“We are honoured to attend the King’s Coronation and bring our greetings and well wishes from his Treaty partners of Treaties 4, 5, 6 and 10 we represent as King Charles III ascends to the Throne. We also remind him of the outstanding obligations His Majesty has with his Treaty peoples of our region and our hope is that he honours the spirit and intent of them as he moves forward with his reign,” said MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee.
“We, the Anishininewuk (of Island Lake), welcome this opportunity to meet with the crown representatives in London on the occasion of the coronation of King Charles III. Important ‘unfinished business’ that continues to affect our daily lives remains, and we welcome any opportunity to engage with representatives of the crown in this regard. We will continue to do our part to honour the Treaties and work towards reconciliation,” said AO Grand Chief Scott Harper.
“The Coronation of King Charles III marks an opportunity to commemorate the international Treaty relationship between First Nations and the British Crown. I know King Charles takes a special interest in that relationship, and I look forward to diplomatic and public education efforts to reinforce the importance of our enduring commitment to mutual respect, peace, and friendship between our Nations,” said AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Southern Chiefs Organization
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Assembly of First Nations – Manitoba Region