Prince Charles has warned in Canada that it’s time to look at the darker aspects of the past.

On their three-day trip to Canada, Prince Charles (73) and Duchess Camilla (74) have a special focus: the process of reconciliation with the indigenous population.

Shortly after landing in Newfoundland, Prince Charles gave a speech in the Confederation Building, warning that it was time to confront the darker and more difficult aspects of the past.

“It is with the utmost respect that my wife and I begin our visit to these homelands, inhabited and cared for by indigenous peoples – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – for thousands of years,” he began. “As we begin this Platinum Jubilee visit, which will take us from the newest member of the Confederacy to one of the oldest communities in the North, and a capital city still steeped in history at the heart of a great nation – my wife and I look forward to hearing from you and to hear about the future you’re working on.”

Commemorating the victims of Residential Schools

After the speech, Charles and Camilla visit the Heart Gardens in the grounds of Government House, created to commemorate the victims of the Residential Schools boarding system. By the mid-1990s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada had been separated from their parents and placed in boarding schools. In 2021, hundreds of children’s bodies from Canada’s indigenous population were found near former boarding schools. Canada’s Supreme Court classified this practice as cultural genocide.

Charles and Camilla then visited an art studio in the Quidi Vidi district, as pictures on their Instagram account show. There they were shown the traditional craftsmanship of carpet production. Finally, the royals also visited Quidi Vidi’s Brewery, the oldest craft brewery and the third largest brewery in Newfoundland.