July 6, 2021 – Kuujjuaq, Nunavik – At 10 am this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walked to the podium to announce Canada’s 30th Governor General. He was followed closely by Mary Simon, After the Prime Minister’s opening remarks, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Mary Simon first addressed Canadians in Inuktitut, A huge moment in history for Inuit across Inuit Nunangat, and a huge moment for Ingenious peoples across the country.
“In Nunavik, we all know our new Governor General as Mary. We are extremely proud of her appointment as Canada’s 30th Governor General,” said Pita Aatami. “This is a new chapter in Canada’s relationship with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis. Having an Indigenous person as the Crown’s Representative in Canada sends a strong message to the nation, and to the international community. This comes at an important time in our history as we collectively work towards reconciliation.”
Until her appointment as Governor General, Mary Simon was the Senior Negotiator in the Nunavik political process of Self-Determination with the Government of Canada. She is also a previous Makivik Corporation President, former Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), and past President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK). She was instrumental in the creation of the Arctic Council 25 years ago. Our new Governor General was also Canada’s first Ambassador to the Arctic, and Canada’s Ambassador to Denmark. She holds five Honorary University Degrees, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and the National Order of Quebec.
“Mary Simon brings a wealth of experience to this position,” noted Pita Aatami. “I am sure that Inuit will be celebrating across Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut, the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Alaska, Greenland, and Chukotka today. First Nations and Metis communities will also have reason to celebrate as we now have for the first time in Canadian history, an Indigenous person as Governor General of Canada, the Queen’s Representative. Congratulations Your Excellency, Mary Simon, and a warm welcome to His Excellency Whit Fraser, to Rideau Hall.”
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Makivik is the land claims organization mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses in Nunavik. Makivik promotes the preservation of Inuit culture and language as well as the health, welfare, relief of poverty, and education of Inuit in the communities.