Canadian Indigenous leaders to meet with King Charles on Thursday

image of King Charles stands next to Canada's Governor General Mary Simon

By Daniel Otis,, May 02, 2023

King Charles is scheduled to meet with Canadian Indigenous leaders on Thursday.

The May 4 pre-coronation engagement at Buckingham Palace will include Assembly of First Nations Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed and Métis National Council president Cassidy Caron.

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon's office confirmed to that she will also be in attendance.

"His Majesty has had a long-standing relationship with Canada’s Indigenous people and this meeting is an example of The King continuing that journey of listening and deepening his understanding," a press release from Buckingham Palace said.

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The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami organization represents Inuit people in Canada. Together with the Assembly of First Nations and Métis National Council, the three are often referred to as National Indigenous Organizations, or NIOs.

"I had a conversation with His Majesty just earlier today because obviously things will be very busy on Saturday for the coronation," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday in Ottawa. "We talked about Indigenous reconciliation, which is a priority of his."

Cody Groat, an assistant professor at Western University's history and Indigenous studies departments, says Canadian Indigenous leaders have been meeting with monarchs since Queen Victoria's reign in the 19th century.

"What is new in this case is that these meetings are taking place in the lead up to the coronation, as part of the actual coronation ceremonies," Groat told "It's a clear recognition of Charles meeting [Indigenous] leaders the same ways that he is meeting heads of state this week."

King Charles previously met with Canadian Indigenous leaders a year ago, during a three-day May 2022 royal tour to mark his late mother's seven decades on the throne.

"I think that Charles is very aware of the cultural and political climate right now on perspectives of the monarchy," Groat said. "One thing that I always bring attention to is the fact that we currently have Mary Simon as the Governor General, an Inuk woman, the first Indigenous Governor General, as the official representative of King Charles III."

Later the same day, Charles will also hold audiences with the King of the Ashanti of Ghana as well as Amazonian Indigenous leaders. Charles is hosting visiting dignitaries this week in the run-up to his coronation ceremony on Saturday, May 6. Groat says it's important meetings with Indigenous representatives take place "on equal standing" with prime ministers.

"All of our treaties are with the Crown, and that's because Indigenous peoples recognize ourselves as sovereign entities," Groat explained. "Indigenous nations are sovereign within our territories, and that is why we are meeting with King Charles III as an equal."