DETTAH, Northwest Territories — Drumming, dancing, Aboriginal games and private meeting marked the last day of Prince Charles’ tour of Canada in the Northwest Territories.
Charles was greeted with a traditional solemn fire ceremony under an open teepee frame in a Yellowknives Dene First Nation meeting hall.
He entered the hall’s circular community hall, where a group of Indigenous men played Dene hand games, in which two teams use ritual movements to try to hide a small token from each other.
Charles seemed to enjoy the lively diversion, but his conversations with local leaders were drowned out by loud drummers.
While in the Dene community, Charles held a private meeting with several Indigenous leaders that lasted about twice as long as the scheduled 20 minutes. Officials did not provide any details of the discussion, which took place while Charles’ wife, Camilla, was on a private visit to the community’s small primary school.
In the days leading up to Charles’ visit, Indigenous leaders said they expected to discuss issues of concern, including the dark legacy of Canada’s now-defunct system of compulsory residential schools for Indigenous children, for which the Dene hold the Crown in part responsible.
Charles also joined in a round dance in the community hall accompanied by eight native drummers. After a circle and a half around the room, Charles came out smiling and waving a small Yellowknives flag he had received from an Aboriginal woman. He then returned to Yellowknife, the provincial capital.