Mary Simon appointed as Governor General, the first Indigenous person to hold the position

Mary Simon will serve as the next Governor General, she will be the first Indigenous person in the role. (Screengrab taken from CPAC.)

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.

“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.

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Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is a graduate of Carleton University's bachelor of journalism program. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at