Indigenous communities are using the passing of Queen Elizabeth II worldwide to bring attention to the monarchy’s awful treatment of indigenous peoples throughout most of recorded history.
Some may find these reflections inappropriate soon after her death, but Indigenous peoples, Africans, and others would argue otherwise. They say she was a symbol of the ongoing colonizing force that many people blindly and faithfully support, without wanting to look at the bad things about that colonizing force. They also said that its deep, dark policies and transgressions against Indigenous peoples and others ultimately led to its downfall.
People are still more inclined to remember how she mistreated Princess Diana during this time of mourning than to recall the decimation of so many Indigenous nations at the hands of the British.
Since her death, more attention has been paid to the wrongs suffered by indigenous communities. Survivors of First Contact in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe have used the passing of Queen Elizabeth as a catalyst to express their anguish and sense of exclusion. These groups have also demanded that their countries’ monarchies be toppled.
Between the middle of the 1800s and 1970, around 20 years into Elizabeth’s rule, government authorities took in many children of mixed White and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry. This began about the middle of the 19th century. In many situations, it was necessary for children to attend boarding schools or church-sponsored missions, even if they did not want to. After some time had passed, Australia’s government commissioned a report claiming that one-third of Indigenous children had been removed from their homes against their will and reared in institutions. The general public began to refer to these children and teenagers as the “stolen generations.”
The contentious history of the monarchy’s connections with indigenous peoples both in this country and around the world has been thrust back into the public eye as a direct result of the demise of the queen. Indigenous Australians have had to persevere through a lot in time. Since the explorer James Cook originally claimed a portion of the continent for the British crown, a great deal has changed, which was ruled at the time by the ancestor of the current queen, King George III. There is still a debate of a great deal going on whether or not the monarch bears responsibility for historical wrongs and the ongoing unequal treatment of a significant number of people.
In this regard, numerous native heads of state have various accounts of how Britain came to occupy their land, and these accounts often contradict one another.
When Reuters questioned indigenous leaders in Canada indicated less anxiety about severing relations with the monarchy than they did about ensuring that it honoured vows made hundreds of years earlier. This is because the monarchy has been in power for hundreds of years.
During his trip to Canada earlier this year, the now-King Charles was personally encouraged by the Assembly of First Nations National Chief, RoseAnne Archibald, to issue an apology for the monarchy’s role in colonization. After the queen had passed away, Archibald restated the statement he had made before.
Sara Mainville, an Anishinaabe lawyer, believes that the monarchy “has a very crucial and special place in reconciliation,” and for this reason, she does not think that Canada should abolish the monarchy.
Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson, who hails from British Columbia, has voiced her hope that the future monarch will break the customs that his mother established. She mentioned a number of things that she would like to see the new king do, including denouncing the “Doctrine of Discovery,” which was used to justify colonizing and displacing indigenous people, apologizing for abusive residential schools, and acknowledging that people in Britain have indigenous artefacts, and urging action on climate change, to name just a few of her hopes.