KELOWNA, British Columbia — Aboriginal leaders have urged Prince William and his wife, Kate, to encourage Canadian governments to take their issues seriously.

Chief John Kruger of the Penticton Indian Band spoke directly to the royal couple during an event at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus on Tuesday, urging them to advocate for reconciliation.

Kruger was standing in for Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, who has boycotted royal events.

The royal couple arrived in Canada with their kids on Saturday. Queen Elizabeth II is the figurative head of state in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to improve conditions for Canada’s indigenous peoples. Chiefs have often complained about a lack of money for tribal education and the poor conditions of reserves.