Grand Chief Stewart Phillip speaks to First Nations leaders before signing the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion at the Musqueam Community Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sept. 22, 2016.
Ben Nelms—Reuters
September 29, 2016 9:25 AM EDT

A Canadian indigenous leader has repeatedly snubbed British royals the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by declining invitations to meet the couple on their first official tour of Canada.

The action comes from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, and is reported to be a protest against the Canadian government, according to CNN. Phillip did not join the Cambridges at scheduled appearances at British Columbia University and at a reconciliation ceremony in Victoria earlier this week.

On their eight-day trip to British Columbia and the Yukon, with both their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Prince William and Princess Kate were greeted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and have attended traditional cultural performances and workshops. In a statement to CNN,Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said that his non-attendance meant “no disrespect”, but that cancelling the meetings was “a matter of principle”.


More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like