Simon is the first Indian to serve as Queen Elizabeth II’s official representative in Canada and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is a largely ceremonial role, although the Queen must approve the appointment after seeking recommendations from the Canadian government.
“I am inspired by the historical nature of this moment, as our country continues to take on the difficult realities of our collective past,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. “I know that, as Canada’s first Indigenous Governor-General, Her Excellency will be dedicated to helping us as we face these difficult truths together, walk the shared path of reconciliation, and build bridges between all those who call our country to house.
As first reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) last year, current and former government employees accused Payette of creating a toxic job, harassing and intimidating employees, and reducing some employees to tears.
The appointment comes at a controversial time in Canada, as the country faces its history of systemic abuse of Indigenous communities, including forced assimilation programs.
During his statements earlier this month, Simon noted that as an Indian, he understands the “pain and suffering” they feel across the country.
“And, as I said in my remarks, we must stop to fully recognize and memorize and accept the atrocities of our collective past that we are learning more about each day,” Simon said, adding that it was necessary. ” courage “by Trudeau will appoint her to the post.
Simon was born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, and has championed Inuit rights and culture, according to a Canadian government statement.
He was actively involved in negotiations that led to the repatriation of the 1982 Canadian Constitution which formally enshrined the rights of Aboriginal people and treaties to the supreme law of Canada.
Simon is also a former Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, a former ambassador to Denmark and former president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a national Inuit organization.
As Simon takes on the role, he hopes it can be “a bridge between the different lived realities that together form the tapestry of Canada.”
“I can relate to all the people no matter where they live, what they expect or what they need to overcome,” he said.
CNN’s Nicole Chávez contributed to this report.
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