Mary Simon became Canada’s 30th Governor General and the first Indigenous person to represent the Queen in Canada.
In Simon’s remarks on Monday, the Inuk leader and former Canadian diplomat stressed the importance of her role in rethinking reconciliation as her appointment follows the horrendous discovery of unmarked graves of children at former residential schools,
“Reconciliation is getting to know one another,” Simon said. “Since the publication of the Truth and Reconciliation report six years ago, we have learned as a country that we need to learn the real history of Canada. Embracing this truth makes us stronger as a nation, unites Canadian society and teaches our kids that we must always do our best, especially when it’s hard.”
Simon said her view is that reconciliation is a way of life and requires work every day.
Simon was appointed Governor-General by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after Julie Payette resigned in January following a review that found Payette had created a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall.
The pared-down ceremony took place in the Senate of Canada building on Monday.