Learn from reconciliation efforts in Canada, Prince Charles urges Commonwealth

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KIGALI, Rwanda — Prince Charles opened the 26th meeting of Commonwealth leaders today by urging them to learn from Canada's Indigenous reconciliation efforts and learn from the past.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Kigali for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on Wednesday, but the summit officially began Friday with an opening ceremony featuring dance and musical performances from Rwandan performers.

Charles says he and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge, were deeply touched by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada reflecting honestly on the darkest parts of history during their visit to Canada last month.

He says the roots of the Commonwealth run deep into the most painful period of history, and if the association is to move forward united the nations must acknowledge the painful past.

The prince also said he wanted to make clear ahead of the summit that each nation's relationship with the Crown, whether as a republic or a monarchy, is for each member nation to discern — opening the door for countries to sever ties.

Trudeau is expected to spend the day in executive and bilateral meetings with other leaders to try to bring Commonwealth countries onside with Canada's climate goals and its view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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