Mary Simon installed as 30th Governor General, first Indigenous person to hold role

OTTAWA — Mary Simon has officially become Canada's 30th Governor General, and the first Indigenous person to hold the role.

As she took her seat at the head of the Senate chamber, her husband, Whit Fraser, turned to her, took a small bow and then sat down next to Simon.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Simon, an Inuk leader and former Canadian diplomat, as his choice to be the Queen's representative in Canada earlier this month, replacing Julie Payette who resigned in January.

Her choice came amid a national reckoning with the country's historical mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples, including horrific findings of unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools.

In a statement, Trudeau says he expects Simon to help the country confront difficult truths about the past, and walk the shared path of reconciliation.

He also says Simon will use her unique experiences to represent Canadians in all their diversity, at home and abroad, and in both official languages.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

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