Scotland hosts historic meeting between Mississauga First Nations and King Charles
Published July 12, 2023 at 10:12 am
A delegation from the Mississaugas First Nation is home after meeting King Charles III in Edinburgh, Scotland on July 4, the first meeting between the Mississaugas and a reigning British monarch in more than 160 years.
Mississaugas of the Credit Chief Stacey Laforme was among the delegates who met with King Charles during a garden party held at Holyroodhouse Place in Edinburgh, with Treaty issues and the wildfires in Canada among the topics discussed.
Chief Laforme was joined by Gimaa (Chief) Robert Chiblow (Mississauga First Nation), Councillor Steven Toms (Curve Lake First Nation), Professor Chadwick Cowie (Hiawatha First Nation), Veronica Low (Patron, non-Indigenous), Nathan Tidridge (non-Indigenous, Chapel Royal) and Rev. Canon Paul Wright of St. James’s Palace.
Throughout the 19th century delegations from the Mississauga Nation (a nation made up of six different communities, including Mississaugas of Scugog Island, in what is now southern Ontario) regularly visited the British Isles. The last delegation was on June 19, 1860, when Nahneebahwequa (Catherine Sutton) met with Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace.
Last week’s meeting between the newly anointed King and the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg (Mississauga) Nation at the annual garden party at Holyroodhouse lasted about 15 minutes and was arranged by His Majesty’s Chapels Royal, a family of chapels that includes The King’s Anishinabek Sacred Place (Chapel Royal) at Massey College in Toronto.
During the meeting the King was shown a replica of The Covenant Chain Wampum (Treaty of Niagara Belt) by Chief Laforme, which was the official gift to King Charles by the delegation. The Covenant Chain Wampum (Treaty of Niagara Belt) was one of the key belts used to bring the Mississauga Nation into a Treaty relationship with the United Kingdom (then represented by King George III) in 1764.
(The replica was created in 2014 by Ken Maracle, a faith keeper of the Lower Cayuga Longhouse – Cayuga Nation. Made by hand using traditional methods on Manitoulin Island and Six Nations of the Grand River, Maracle spent over forty hours threading 10,000 beads onto the sinew to weave the wampum.)
The Treaty of Niagara was intended to be the foundation of all future Treaties in the lands that now constitute Canada. At its heart, the Covenant Chain Wampum reflects a relationship that binds the Sovereign as family with the Indigenous Nations of the Great Lakes region. It is meant to be a relationship of equality and respect that continues to this day.
The historic meeting was part of a larger diplomatic mission by the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg Nation (Mississauga Nation) that included visits to St. James’s Palace, the Isle of Man government (as guests at their national day celebrations – Tynwald Day), the City of London, the House of Lords, Goodenough College, and the National Liberal Club.
The Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg Nation (Mississauga Nation) consists of six communities: Mississaugas of the New Credit, Mississaugas of Alderville, Mississaugas of Scugog Island, Mississauga First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, and Hiawatha First Nation.
insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising
— Murray Pridham (@keteprdhm) July 4, 2023