Ottawa — Government. General Mary Simon says the country must find the humility needed to build a fairer society and vows that she will play her role as the representative of the country’s new head of state.
Simon officially became Canada’s 30th governor-general at a ceremony on Monday morning, becoming the first indigenous people to play that role.
When she sat at the head of the Senate, her husband, Whit Fraser, turned to her, bowed a little, and sat next to Simon.
Shortly after officially assuming that role, Simon said he had heard from a Canadian who challenged her to bring a new purpose to her office to address the challenges facing the country.
Her maiden speech touched on many themes, but she said she needed to rethink how Canadians view reconciliation with indigenous peoples.
She said reconciliation is not completed through projects and the provision of services to indigenous peoples, but rather a way of life that requires daily work and knowing each other.
“As governor, I will strive to wisely and thoughtfully put together the tensions of the past and the promises of the future to meet at this moment,” she said in a speech.
“Our society must recognize our moments of regret together, along with what gives us pride, because it is for healing, acceptance, and rebuilding of trust. Because it creates space. I strive to build a bridge across diverse backgrounds and cultures that reflects the uniqueness and promises of our great nation. “
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Inuit leader and former Canadian diplomat Simon to represent the Monarchy of Canada earlier this month, replacing Julie Payette, who resigned in January.
Her choice came as the public considered the country’s historic abuse of indigenous peoples, including the horrifying discovery of an unmarked tomb on the site of a former residential school.
In a statement on Simon’s installation, Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartland said, “Clearly, this marks a further step on the path to reconciliation, and the indigenous Canadians have made our legitimate place in the dominion. I’m starting to find it. “
Trudeau said in a statement that he hopes Simon will help the country confront the difficult truths about the past and follow a common path of reconciliation.
He also said that Simon would take advantage of her unique experience to represent Canadians in all diversity at home and abroad, and in both official languages.
Trudeau was one of 44 people allowed to witness the ceremony in person as public health guidelines set limits on the attendance and masking requirements of everyone in the meeting room.
Despite requests from officials to keep people away, a large number of people stood across the street waiting for Simon to arrive for the ceremony.
The crowd began to applaud and cheer as she stepped onto the red carpet. As the cheers subsided, someone in the crowd shouted, “Leave yourself to the monarchy,” and then added, “Release yourself.”
Simon’s welcome to the red carpet saw Trudeau, Chief Justice Stephen Gilbeau, Senator Richard Wagner, and Senator Mark Gold, the Senate’s government representative, slamming with their elbows spread out instead of shaking hands. rice field.
She then turned to the First Nations drum circle and nodded her head slightly to the beat. Then I went inside and was accompanied by a traditional Inuit drummer on my way to the Senate.
Inside the room, the traditional Inuit oil lamps remained lit during the ceremony.