U.K. ceremony honours First Nation defence of the Crown

Canadian indigenous chiefs and delegation marks the Royal Proclamation of 1763 with a wreath-laying ceremony in England. Valerie Galley / Supplied

LONDON, U.K. – Canadian indigenous chiefs and delegation took part in a wreath-laying and pipe ceremony honouring First Nations loyalty to the Crown in London, England.

A delegation of two dozen First Nations chiefs, veterans, elders and leaders, representing indigenous peoples from Canada took part in the ceremony held at the Royal Military Chapel, the Guards’ Chapel on Saturday.

“Generations of Canadian Indians have stood forthright, to repay the loyalty and commitment of the Crown to the indigenous population of Canada,” stated Dr. William Beaver, officiating chaplain of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

In the late 1800s, First Nations chiefs who entered into treaties with the Crown were guaranteed freedom from military conscription.

Nevertheless, First Nations people served for such service.

A delegation from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) delegation was in attendance.

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FSIN Chief Perry Bellegarde toured Oxford University on Friday and was honoured with an invitation to the “high table” to discuss some common interests with faculty.

Monday is the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

Bellegarde has said the proclamation is important to indigenous people because it marks the first time the Crown recognized our title to and jurisdiction over lands and territories.

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