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William and Kate visit remote rainforest community

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Media captionWilliam and Kate visited the Great Bear Rainforest, in British Columbia

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited a remote First Nation community in British Columbia on day three of their Canadian tour.

The pair were welcomed to the Great Bear Rainforest by Heiltsuk people from the island village of Bella Bella, and presented with traditional vests.

They also took part in a ceremony marking the forest's membership of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy network.

The network helps to preserve indigenous forests.

Image copyright AP
Image caption They watched a traditional First Nation welcoming ceremony
Image copyright AP
Image caption There were outfits for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who are also on the tour

Prince William said: "The establishment of the canopy is a loud and unambiguous statement that the citizens of all Commonwealth countries believe that nature is fundamental to the health of our societies.

"When we protect our rivers, oceans, atmospheres, or like today, our forests, we are telling our children that their future prosperity cannot be disconnected from the health of the natural world."

Chief council member Marilyn Slett welcomed the couple and said they were there as part of the "healing" the First Nation community is undertaking.

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Image caption The couple went out into the 'Amazon of the north' with BC Premier Christy Clark

The Cambridges heard passionate statements from community leaders about their battle to stop the plunder of the natural resources of their lands and the struggle to preserve their way of life for future generations.

As the couple were given their ceremonial blankets, they were told: "We use these blankets to wrap the spirits of our ancestors around you and to unite your spirits together with ours."

Image copyright PA
Image caption An anorak was used to cover the rainforest plaque as the day had been so rainy

A downpour prevented them taking a seaplane tour of the forest - the world's largest intact temperate rainforest - but the couple later took a stroll through it.

Later, the Duke of Cambridge joined Canadian chiefs for a reconciliation ceremony and added a ring to Black Rod, a ceremonial staff.

The rod has three rings representing British Columbia, Canada and a link with the UK.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption One grand chief boycotted the ceremony over his people's treatment by the Canadian government

William added a fourth, engraved with eagle feathers and a canoe, to symbolise the First Nations in BC.

But Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, leader of 115 First Nation tribes in the province, boycotted the ceremony over his people's treatment at the hands of Canada's government.

There was a reception for the royal couple at Government House in Victoria on Monday evening.

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Image caption The Cambridges attended a reception at Government House in Victoria

24 Sept Victoria, British Columbia: The duke and duchess, accompanied by their children, arrived in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.

25 Sept Vancouver, British Columbia: The duke and duchess visited Sheway, the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia - for an event to celebrate young leaders in Canadian arts, music, sport, charity, business, and film, and then visited the Kitsilano coastguard station.

26 Sept Bella Bella and the Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia: The duke and duchess travelled to the Great Bear Rainforest, visiting the Heiltsuk First Nations community and attending a reception hosted by the province of British Columbia at Government House.

27 Sept Kelowna, British Columbia and Whitehorse, Yukon: The royals will tour the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia and take part in the BC government's "Taste of British Columbia" festival at Mission Hill Winery before flying to Whitehorse, where they will be greeted by members of the Canadian Rangers.

28 Sept Whitehorse and Carcross, Yukon: William and Catherine will visit the MacBride Museum and meet members of Whitehorse's cultural community before travelling to Carcross, where they will be welcomed by the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

29 Sept Victoria, British Columbia: The royal couple and their children attend a children's party in the grounds of Government House, which will be attended by military families.

30 Sept Haida Gwaii, British Columbia: The duke and duchess visit Haida Gwaii, the archipelago on the northern coast of British Columbia, home to the Haida Nation. They will attend the opening of the new Haida Gwaii hospital and care centre. They will join local youths for a fishing expedition on the waters of Hecate Strait.

30 Sept Victoria, British Columbia: The royal couple will visit the Cridge Centre for the Family, which provides services and support for women who have experienced domestic violence. They will then meet families who have received support from the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre and later youth working with the Sail and Life Training Society. They end their tour with a public official departure ceremony at Victoria Harbour Airport.

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