DETTAH, Northwest Territories — Drumming, dancing, Indigenous games and a private meeting marked the final day of Prince Charles tour of Canada in the Northwest Territories.
Charles was greeted with a solemn traditional fire ceremony beneath an open tepee frame at an assembly hall of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
He entered the hall’s circular community room, where a group of Indigenous men played Dene hand games, in which two teams use ritualistic movements to try to hide a small token from each other.
Charles seemed to enjoy the lively diversion, but his chatting with local leaders was drowned out by raucous drummers.
While at the Dene community, Charles held a private meeting with several Indigenous leaders that went on for about twice as long as its scheduled 20 minutes. Officials offered no details about the discussion, which occurred while Charles’s wife, Camilla, conducted a private visit to the community’s small elementary school.
In the days leading up to Charles’s visit, Indigenous leaders said they expected to discuss issues of concern, including the grim legacy of Canada’s now defunct compulsory residential school system for Indigenous children, for which the Dene hold the Crown partly responsible.
Charles also joined in a round dance in the community room accompanied by eight Indigenous drummers. After one and a half revolutions of the hall, Charles exited, smiling as he waved a small Yellowknives flag he received from an Indigenous woman. He then traveled back to Yellowknife, the provincial capital.