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William and Kate Take Canada by Storm

JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images(BELLA BELLA, British Columbia) Driving rain and wind couldn’t dampen William and Kate’s enthusiasm while touring Bella Bella, British Columbia, Monday. The royal couple had to modify their plans and scrap an aerial float plane tour of the Great Bear rain forest because of torrential rains but received a traditional welcome by the Heiltsuk First Nations community.

Prince William was greeted by the elder chiefs, telling them “it wouldn’t be the rain forest without the rain. It’s very authentic. We’re very excited to be here.”

William and Kate were named hereditary chiefs Monday at a ceremony by elders welcoming them by the Heiltsuk First Nations community.

William and Kate are on a mission. This is their second royal tour to Canada. Their first tour was shortly after their wedding in 2011. They hope to get to know Canadians who they will one day rule as their king and queen. More importantly, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want to highlight issues important to them: conservation, which is a primary focus of Prince William’s work; mental health; addiction and young people.

The world’s largest temperate rain forest is home to the Kermode bear, whales, otters and dolphins.

William and Kate will also observe a youth performance before traveling to McLoughlin Bay to see a walking trail.

They were also shown one of the most precious items owned by the First Nations community, a royal staff with a silver crown head given to the present chief’s great-grandfather by Queen Victoria.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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