Prime Minister names Mary Simon as Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General

Nation's 30th Governor-General replaces Julie Payette who resigned in January

Canada has a new Governor General.

The Prime Minister named Mary Simon as the nation’s 30th Governor General on Tuesday, and Canada’s first of Indigenous heritage.

“We must thoughtfully work hard towards the promise of a better tomorrow. I believe we can build a hopeful future in a way that is respectful of what has happened in the past,” said Governor General Designate Simon. “It means supporting the well-being of people by focusing on our youth, and in pre improved educational outcomes for all of our children. It means prioritizing the protection of our natural world so that we can have a healthy climate and planet for generations to come.”

“I believe strongly that if we embrace our common humanity, and shared responsibility for one another, Canada’s brightest days are yet to come,” she added.

“I am very pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has graciously approved the appointment of Mary Simon as the next Governor General of Canada,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Ms. Simon has dedicated her life to advancing social, economic, and human rights issues for Canadian Inuit and Indigenous peoples, and I am confident that she will serve Canadians and promote our shared values with dedication and integrity. Through this appointment, we are ensuring that Canada is represented by someone who exemplifies the very best of our country.”

Originally a producer and announcer for CBC North, Simon later became Canada’s first Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs and was a lead negotiator for the creation of the Arctic Council. She also later served as ambassador to Denmark. Simon is an Officer of the Order of Canada and of the National Order of Quebec. She is also a recipient of the Governor General’s Northern Medal.

She replaces Julie Payette who resigned in January following an investigation revealing allegations of a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall.