Royal Tour – Welcome Ceremony

May 17, 2022

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I acknowledge Newfoundland and Labrador as the homelands of many Indigenous peoples, including the Beothuk. I would also acknowledge the Innu, Inuit and Mi’kmaq.

I’d like to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Canada.

Your Royal Highnesses, your visit will take you to a few communities, including in Canada’s North. I encourage you to speak to Indigenous peoples, to hear their stories, their successes and their solutions. And I encourage you to learn the truth of our history, the good and the bad. In this way, we will promote healing, understanding and respect. 

And, in this way, we also promote reconciliation, which is not one act or project, nor does it have an end date. It’s a lifelong commitment to learning about Indigenous communities and about their lived realities. 

It’s more important than ever to engage in dialogue, particularly as we face global challenges. Challenges such as the ongoing pandemic, the heartbreaking war in Ukraine, and climate change, which is having devastating impacts to our land and way of life, including in the Arctic, where increased melting ice is causing water levels to rise.

We’re stronger when we recognize our diverse voices, and when we create safe spaces where those voices are heard. Today, we welcome you to Canada and invite you to learn our stories and share them wherever you go.

Canadians are eager to engage with you, to talk to you about the hope we have for the future. Because we do have great hope.

This Royal Tour also marks a milestone occasion: Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

For 70 years, Her Majesty has seen the evolution of Canada and heard our stories. She has called Canada her “second home” and we’re grateful for her service and her steadfast presence. The Queen continues to inspire us to get involved and support our communities.

Your Royal Highnesses, I would like to teach you one word in Inuktitut today: ajuinnata. It’s a vital concept for Inuit that has many meanings. It means to never give up. It’s a vow, a promise, to commit yourself to action, no matter daunting the cause may be.

As you travel in Canada, I hope you will keep the idea of ajuinnata with you. Because when we work together, when we put our minds to the task, when we don’t give up, we can accomplish so much.

Welcome to St. John’s and welcome to Canada.

Thank you.