Manitoba marks King Charles’s coronation at home and abroad
Winnipeggers gathered on Saturday to commemorate the official coronation of the new head of the British monarchy.
A church service was held at St. John’s Cathedral and a gun salute took place at the south end of the Manitoba legislative grounds to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.
Robert Campbell, who attended the church service, said he doesn’t think many people have high expectations for the new King.
“I think he’s going to be a very fine monarch. He’s spent a long time getting ready to do this and I think he will do it well,” he told Radio-Canada.
King Charles’s interest in environmental issues and reconciliation with Indigenous people makes Campbell optimistic.
“I’m really hoping he can be a bridge builder between those who were here first and those who came later,” he said.
Manitoba’s premier offered her congratulations to the new King and Queen in a statement on Saturday, saying Manitobans are confident the two will “exemplify the determination, dedication and purpose that were the trademarks of his mother,” the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Anita Neville, the province’s lieutenant-governor, said she had an opportunity to speak with the new monarch in London before his coronation.
The monarchy’s representative in Manitoba met King Charles earlier in the week, and said he was “fabulous.”
“We covered a whole range of topics. We spent a great deal of time talking about the Indigenous population of Manitoba and issues around reconciliation,” she told CBC News Network on Saturday.
Neville said she also offered to help with Charles’s environmental initiatives.
“It was a wonderful conversation,” she said.
‘Sacredness’ of treaty relationships key: grand chief
Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, who represents 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota First Nations in Manitoba, travelled to England to remind the monarchy of the Crown’s historic relationship with Indigenous people.
“I think he has to understand the sacredness of the relationship that was established,” he told CBC News on Friday.
Daniels and other Indigenous leaders in Manitoba watched the ceremony from Canada House.
He said while he appreciates the significance of the King meeting with national Indigenous leaders on the eve of his coronation, Daniels thinks more First Nations should have been involved in the direct event.
He said the Crown signed treaties with each of those First Nations and that should be represented, instead of “simply three leaders from a country who is part of the Commonwealth.”
“You can’t really pile the First Nation in with just sort of [a] pan-Indigenous approach. We’re unique. We’re our own people, and that needs to be acknowledged,” he said.
Back in Winnipeg, Elder Amanda Wallen smudged attendees of the church service before they headed into St. John’s Cathedral.
“To celebrate [the coronation] with a smudge and a blessing, and to be blessing these people, just proves how far our church has come,” she told Radio-Canada.
She said it was an “exciting day” for the monarchy.
“We share the same one creator, and we share the same one in the church, so it’s a real honour to be here today.”