Who is Mary Simon? A few facts on Canada’s first Indigenous governor general


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Mary Simon, a former diplomat and advocate for Inuit rights and culture, as Canada’s 30th governor general Tuesday.

Here’s a quick list of facts on Simon:

  • Mary Simon, born in 1947, was named Tuesday as Canada’s 30th governor general.
  • Her early professional career started in radio broadcasting with the CBC, and then she moved on to work with the Northern Quebec Inuit Association and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and was involved in negotiating the first land claims agreement in Canada.
  • From 1994 to 2003, Simon served as Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, becoming the first Inuk to hold an ambassadorial position. During this time, she negotiated the creation of the Arctic Council, and concurrently served as Ambassador of Canada to Denmark from 1999 to 2001.
  • In 2006, she became president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and served two terms.

  • Among other honours, Simon is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. She is also a recipient of the Governor General’s Northern Medal, the Gold Order of Greenland, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gold Medal of the Canadian Geographical Society, and the Symons Medal

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