Indian Country Reacts to Queen Elizabeth II’s Death

Posted By PowWow Articles September 8th, 2022 Last Updated on: September 9th, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth realms for the past 70 years, has passed away at 96 years old. With her passing, her son becomes King Charles III.

According to the royal family, all four of her children and her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry traveled to Balmoral to be at her side.

Elizabeth's reign was the longest of any British monarch in history. Some in the indigenous community expressed their condolences in heartfelt messages.

Mary Simon, Canada’s first Inuit Governor General, released a statement about the Queen’s death, in which she shared about Elizabeth's relationship with Canada.

Her reign encompassed the mandates of 12 Canadian prime ministers and 13 governors general. On 22 occasions, she undertook official visits to Canada, where she professed her love for our county again and again. She was a steadfast presence during some of the most tumultuous times of our lives, and most recently gave comfort to so many during the pandemic. On behalf of all Canadians, I offer deepest condolences to the members of the Royal Family, who grieve the loss of a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Queen Elizabeth Death

Queen Elizabeth II just two days before her death. JANE BARLOW – WPA POOL/GETTY

Yet, while countless people across the U.K. and the world are mourning her death, the Queen's seven decades as head of the Commonwealth drubbed up considerable controversy.

This is, indeed, a sad day for the royal family and the monarchy, but not everyone is finding themselves in such a mournful state. To many, the Queen's legacy in Great Britain and the Commonwealth is synonymous with colonialism, violence, scandal and corruption. That includes many people across Indian Country, who are openly sharing their reflections on forced assimilation and intergenerational trauma. 

Queen's Death

Ryan Buffalo, a citizen of Samson Cree Nation isn't among those warmly acknowledging Elizabeth's reign. 

I think that the monarchy is outdated. It seems like it doesn’t have any benefit to any Indigenous person in Canada or the Americas in general,” Buffalo said. “Yes [it's] unfortunate that she passed away but I can’t feel that much sympathy for her because she is a rich old white lady and there’s so much history here that involves Indigenous trauma. I am thinking about our international agreements and how her death is going to affect them. In Canada we have difficulty enforcing the agreements at the different levels of government.

Read on for reactions from those within the Indigenous community…



As you can see from these posts, many of the reactions to Queen Elizabeth's death were very raw and impassioned, and it's not hard to see why. 

What was your initial reaction to the Queen's passing?

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Allen Topaum

White people took land that was not their own. The poor original inhabitants should receive land in return today. The poor original inhabitants now live on squalor wasteland. The rich white people and other new immigrants now live in rich house and big land. Why did white people do it? They used advanced criminal weaponry to overpower land that was not their own. Inkind, the land grabbers should return much land back to original inhabitants. The law of righteousness is more lawful than the power grabbers made-up laws. The court systems are designed to keep power away from original inhabitants. The inhumane killing of the majority of my people hurts me constantly. The original inhabitants population is now the lowest from before being highest. The policy to kill all original inhabitants is still playing out as the inhabitants population is tracking down constantly. Stand-up for original inhabitants land and repayment of lost richness. Give land back to original inhabitants and the wealth of stolen riches. I tried to take a swim on the eastern coast but all the white people owned all the seaside land with big houses and they posted signs to keep out and no parking. Shameful and anger was my feeling for i am the original owner of this land and cannot even take a swim or park to touch the seaside. Pityful indeed.
Allen Topaum
Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma

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