Representatives from 12 Commonwealth countries have joined forces to urge the King to acknowledge and apologise for the consequences of British “genocide and colonialism.”
The declaration, which was submitted to Charles, urges Britain’s incoming monarch to follow through on the royal family’s recent professions of regret by initiating a reparations procedure and recovering stolen artefacts and physical remains.
Representatives from Australia, New Zealand, The Bahamas, and Canada have signed the statement.
The statement said: “Our collective Indigenous Rights Organisations among other organisations who are working to help our communities recover from centuries of racism, oppression, colonialism and slavery, now rightly recognized by the United Nations as ‘Crimes Against Humanity,’ also call for a formal apology and for a process of reparatory justice to commence.”
It outlines five key points:
- Immediately start the conversation about slavery’s enduring impact;
- Starting discussions about reparations;
- Repatriation of all remains of our collective peoples;
- Return of all of our cultural treasures and artefacts;
- Acknowledge and adopt the renunciation of the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ made by Pope Francis in April 2023.
One of the representatives, Australian senator Lidia Thorpe, said: “The British monarchy oversaw the oppression of First Nations peoples in British colonies all over the world.
“The horrific impacts of British colonisation, including the genocide of our people, theft of our land and denigration of our culture, are still felt today.”