Mary Simon has been appointed as Governor General of Canada and will be the first Inuk and Indigenous person to hold the position.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday morning.
Simon grew up in Kangiqsualujjuaq and Kuujjuaq. She served as the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) chair from 1986 to 1992 and was the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami from 2006 to 2012. In this position she accepted the apology to victims of residential schools on behalf of the Inuit of Canada from the Prime Minister at the time.
Mary Simon is a strong Indigenous woman and life-long advocate for Indigenous rights and culture. I want to extend my sincerest congratulations as she becomes the first Indigenous Governor-General in history. We know you will lead with grace and integrity. #cdnpoli #nwtpoli https://t.co/jg5YQYWoAU
— Caroline Cochrane (@CCochrane_NWT) July 6, 2021
“Famously responding in Inuktitut first to demonstrate that the Inuit language had survived attempts to get rid of Indigenous languages in Canada,” an ICC press release reads.
Simon will serve as the Queen’s representative in Canada, she takes on the position with an impressive portfolio, including previously serving as the Ambassador to the Arctic.
“As Canada’s former Ambassador to the Arctic, and Ambassador to Denmark, our new Governor General has experience acting on behalf of the Crown – and understands the challenges faced by Inuit and other Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” the ICC release said.
The appointment comes five months after the previous Governor General Julie Payette resigned from the role after an external review found she ran a highly toxic workplace.