May 6, 2023
UBCIC Will Not Attend King Charles III Coronation
(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – May 6, 2023) Today, King Charles III and Queen Consort will celebrate his Coronation at Westminster Abbey in London, England. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) will not be attending the ceremony, nor was an invite received or requested.
At the Union of BC Indian Chiefs Annual General Assembly in September 2022, the Chiefs-in-Assembly called on King Charles III to formally renounce the Doctrine of Discovery and all doctrines related to the assertion of moral superiority that have aided in colonization. These principles have served as the basis for the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty over the lands now known politically as Canada. These lands were never ceded, surrendered, or released to the Crown or Government of Canada, and to assert otherwise is to uphold these racist doctrines.
“In 2016, the UBCIC Chiefs-in-Assembly decided, that we should not attend the ‘Black Rod’ Ceremony with Prince William in consideration of our perspective on “reconciliation”, so we have no intention of attending the coronation of the newest monarch, a show of pomp and circumstance representing centuries-old rituals and traditions of self-proclaimed royalists,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC. “On the one hand, we recognize that First Nations have a unique relationship to the Crown in law and some Nations have treaties with the Crown, and on the other, the Crown has been hostile to First Nations with a dark history of land theft, colonization and genocide, and with the continued legal excuses of terra nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery, which the Crown uses to undermine our inherent Title and Rights.”
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President of the UBCIC stated, “Colonialism is very much alive in Canadian law and the change in monarchs does have a legal effect on Canadian law; the changeover to ‘His Majesty the King’ was immediately reflected in legislation and all legal documents, effectively delaying all legal processes. The coronation itself is merely procedure and protocol and has little relevance to our daily lives. As the original peoples of this land, we had no opportunity to provide input regarding the coronation and we have not consented to the ongoing existence of the British monarchy.”
“First Nations peoples have been fighting with the Crown for over a century now for full access to our lands and recognition of our Title and Rights. All of our early legal battles were against ‘the Queen’ and we were forced to use their laws to fight for our inherent rights. If the Crown will not engage with us on a nation-to-nation and government-to-government level, then we cannot participate in or celebrate a ceremony or system that has suppressed and oppressed First Nations rights in Canada and Indigenous rights in all nations that the British have colonized,” stated Chief Marilyn Slett, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC. “The Crown has extensive work to do to amend their relationship with First Nations and the first step is repudiation, renunciation, and rejection of the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 604-290-6083
Chief Marilyn Slett, Secretary-Treasurer. 250-957-7721
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information, please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca