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How the world reported the royal visit to Yellowknife and Dettah

Last modified: May 20, 2022 at 10:59am

Dozens of reporters followed Prince Charles and Camilla on their five-hour trip to Yellowknife and Dettah on Thurday.

The British press was particularly well-represented as the world’s newsrooms shone a brief spotlight on the Northwest Territories to conclude the royals’ three-day tour of Canada.

You can find our own coverage of the day here.

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On this page, we present a sample of reporting from Canadian, American and British newsrooms. (Generally, other world news outlets take less interest in the British royal family’s activities.)

The articles are quoted verbatim – spellings, phrasing, editorial decisions and assertions of fact are theirs, not ours.

The following excerpts provide a sense of how the world’s press interpreted the trip.

Of particular note are reports that Prince Charles rewrote his planned speech to include more remarks about the impact of residential schools and the need to pay more attention to the lived experience of Indigenous peoples.

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In between each excerpt, we’ve included photos taken by Cabin Radio reporter Emily Blake.

Indigenous leaders gather in Dettah for the arrival of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
Indigenous leaders gather in Dettah for the arrival of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

The Globe and Mail

Prince Charles says work must be done to understand pain of residential-school survivors

Read the report here.

It was a different ending than the one Buckingham Palace had planned. Sometime Thursday, Prince Charles, apparently moved by his encounters with residential-school survivors, chose to can the brief remarks on climate change he’d planned to deliver before flying to home to Britain. He chose instead to mark the jubilee of his mother, the Queen, with a fairly lengthy speech on the “deeply moving” experience of speaking with survivors and their families.

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“I want to acknowledge their suffering,” he said to a crowd of several hundred in Yellowknife’s Ceremonial Circle.

Canadians, “when faced with challenges, do not run from them,” he added. “We must listen to the truth of the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples. We must work to understand their pain and suffering.”

He and his wife, Camilla, were leaving with “heavy hearts,” he concluded, adding that they will be “closely following the next chapter in this great country’s history.”

Prince Charles with Chief Edward Sangris
Prince Charles with Chief Edward Sangris. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Canadian Press

Prince Charles acknowledges residential school ‘suffering’ as Canada trip wraps up

Read the report here.

They were greeted by a large group at the Yellowknives Dene First Nation community of Dettah. The First Nation east of Yellowknife has a population of just over 200 people and dozens came out to shake hands with the couple and partake in a fire lighting ceremony.

“It’s very emotional for me,” said 53-year-old Eileen Drygeese.

Drygeese said her parents and grandparents would tell stories about when they met the royals during a tour in the 1970s when Prince Charles was a teen. She gave Camilla a medicine bundle to represent women in her family and their history together.

Some First Nation members did not support the visit, Drygeese said, but added that they understand the power of showcasing their community and culture.

Many of those who came wore orange clothing and other items with the words “every child matters” representing the legacy of residential schools.

A hand games demonstration in Dettah
A hand games demonstration in Dettah. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Press Association (UK)

Camilla laughs after being given a stress ball made from beaver fur

Read the report here.

The Duchess of Cornwall laughed when she was presented with a fluffy gift in Yellowknife, Canada, yesterday – and was told it was a stress ball made of beaver fur. “Everybody needs a stress ball,” Camilla said.

Jane Dragon, 81, handmade the ball for the duchess, explaining: “It’s from sheared beaver.” Of the royal couple Ms Dragon then added: “We are very lucky to see them. I met the Queen when she came and now they are here.” Charles and Camilla visited the Dettah community on Thursday and were welcomed by the two Chiefs for the Yellowknives Dene First Nation – Chief Edward Sangris of the Dettah and Chief Fred Sangris of Ndilo.

The Premier of the Northwest Territories, the honourable Caroline Cochrane, then introduced them to representatives from the Northwest Territories Council of Leaders. Charles had telephoned the Elders before the tour. Charles and Camilla also took part in a Feeding the Fire Ceremony, led by Elder Bernadette Martin. Smoke came up from a central fire pit while they put in offerings of tobacco and traditional drummers played.

Elders then led the group in a prayer to the spirits. Charles and Camilla were introduced to Angela Lafferty, director of language, culture and history for the YKDFN, who explained how different moose antlers were used to scrape hides before they were tanned. Charles and Camilla looked at some local drums and were presented with a pair of traditional moccasins each. “They are amazing,” said Charles.

Fishy People's Niki Mckenzie, centre right, meets Charles and Camilla
Fishy People’s Niki Mckenzie, centre right, meets Charles and Camilla. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Daily Express (UK)

Prince Charles snapped on snowmobile after being appointed Honorary Canadian Ranger

Read the report here.

The Prince of Wales tried out a snowmobile for size and marvelled at its modern creature comfort of heated handles when he met the Canadian Rangers for the group’s 75th anniversary. Clarence House shared the moment on social media, as the Duke of Rothesay was snapped meeting rangers and trying out the vehicle.

The Prince of Wales also revealed much of the work the Canadian Rangers do.

His social media post added: “The Canadian Rangers, part of the Canadian Forces, protect Canada by conducting patrols; reporting unusual activities; collecting local data; performing national security duties; assisting in search and rescue; and assisting with natural disasters.”

NWT RCMP commanding officer Chief Superintendent Jamie Zettler, left, and NWT infrastructure minister Diane Archie await the royals in central Yellowknife
NWT RCMP commanding officer Chief Superintendent Jamie Zettler, left, and NWT infrastructure minister Diane Archie await the royals in central Yellowknife. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

ITV (UK)

Prince Charles shows off dance moves during traditional drum dance in Canada

Read the report here.

Prince Charles busted some moves as he took part in a 1,000-year-old traditional Dene Dum Dance in Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The Prince of Wales, who has been on a three-day royal tour of Canada with Camilla, also spoke with Chief Edward Sangris and Chief Fred Sangris privately about issues affecting indigenous people on his trip to see the Yellowknives Dene First Nation Leadership at the Chief Drygeese Government Building in Detta.

Charles was then happily coaxed by the chiefs to participate in the conga-style dance.

He smiled as dancers took selfies while the line wound itself in a circle around the room.

Prince Charles at Yellowknife's Rotary Park
Prince Charles at Yellowknife’s Rotary Park. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

BBC (UK)

Prince Charles: We must learn from indigenous people on climate change

Read the report here.

The Prince of Wales has urged nations to learn lessons from indigenous communities to help save the planet, as he visited a remote Canadian outpost battling with climate change.

Prince Charles said leaders should work with “indigenous knowledge-keepers” to “restore harmony with nature”.

During his speech, he said time was “rapidly running out” to deal with climate change and biodiversity loss.

“I can only say how strongly I would encourage the leadership of the Northwest Territories to address this challenge by working alongside indigenous knowledge-keepers to restore harmony with nature,” he said.

“We simply must learn practical lessons from traditional knowledge, through deep connections to land and water, about how we should treat our planet.”

Charles and Camilla meet local producers in Yellowknife
Charles and Camilla meet local producers in Yellowknife. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

New York Times (US)

Prince Charles and Camilla Visit Canada, Confronting Legacy of the Crown

Read the report here.

A year ago, Canadians were shaken when ground-penetrating radar at a property surrounding a former school in British Columbia found evidence that the remains of hundreds of people, mostly children, were buried there. Similar searches at other school sites have since produced similar findings.

Charles urged Canadians to continue to reconcile with Indigenous people, a program that is one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s top priorities.

“We all have a responsibility to listen, understand and act in ways that foster relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada,” he told a crowd gathered in a downtown park, before setting off to unveil a plaque marking the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II, his mother, as head of state of not just Britain, but also Canada.

As Charles and Camilla, his wife, flew back to Britain on a Royal Canadian Air Force Airbus, it was too early to tell how his words would reverberate among Canadians. Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Canadians do not favor his succession to the throne. But that will happen automatically without an amendment to Canada’s constitution, a process so difficult that it’s seen as unlikely.

Onlookers await Charles and Camilla in Yellowknife
Onlookers await Charles and Camilla in Yellowknife. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Daily Mirror (UK)

Prince Charles walks down perilous frozen ice road destroyed by climate change in Canada

Read the report here.

Prince Charles has declared the “urgent need to take decisive, bold action on behalf of future generations” as he witnessed the destruction caused to a vital Canadian ice road by warmer weather due to climate change.

The Prince of Wales said “we need to listen at least as much as we speak” to help communities around the world in danger of being cut off as a result of the climate emergency.

On a visit to Canada this week, Charles met with indigenous communities and heard how they are facing unprecedented hardships, from having their livelihoods stripped away to being forced to flee their homelands.

Some groups who have lived and thrived for centuries in some of the harshest environments across the country are now finding themselves on the front line of increasing environmental disasters.

Charles and Camilla enter the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Charles and Camilla enter the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Daily Telegraph (UK)

Prince Charles wins hearts as he joins chiefs in a happy dance

Read the report here.

He smiled as dancers took selfies while the line wound itself in a circle around the room.

Jennifer Drygeese, 67, said afterwards: “He was really good, he had rhythm. He really looked like he enjoyed himself.

“It means a lot to us. He just got up and danced. He looked like he has done it before.”

Chief Edward Sangris said: “It was awesome. He fitted right in. It shows he really does care about the community.”

Charles also gave the chiefs two bird boxes from his home at Highgrove.