Simon is the primary Indigenous particular person to function the official consultant of Queen Elizabeth II in Canada and commander-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is a largely ceremonial function though the Queen should approve the appointment after looking for suggestions from the Canadian authorities.
“I am inspired by the historic nature of this moment, as our country continues to come to terms with the difficult realities of our collective past,” , Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned in an announcement Monday. “I do know that, as Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General, Her Excellency will commit herself to serving to us as we confront these tough truths collectively, stroll the shared path of reconciliation, and construct bridges between all those that name our nation residence.
As first reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) final yr, present and former authorities workers accused Payette of making a poisonous office, harassing and bullying workers and decreasing some workers to tears.
The appointment comes at a controversial time in Canada because the nation confronts its historical past of systemic abuse of Indigenous communities, together with compelled assimilation applications.
During her remarks earlier this month, Simon famous that as an Indigenous particular person, she understands the “ache and struggling” felt throughout the nation.
“And as I mentioned in my remarks, we have to cease to totally acknowledge and memorialize and are available to phrases with the atrocities of our collective previous that we’re studying extra about every day,” Simon said, adding that it took “braveness” for Trudeau to nominate her to the place.
Simon was born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, and has served as an advocate for Inuit rights and tradition, in response to a Canadian authorities assertion.
She was actively concerned in negotiations that led to the 1982 patriation of the Canadian Constitution that formally enshrined Aboriginal and treaty rights within the supreme legislation of Canada.
Simon can also be a former Canadian ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, former ambassador to Denmark and previous president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a nationwide Inuit group.
As Simon takes on the function, she hopes she might be “a bridge between the completely different lived realities that collectively make up the tapestry of Canada.”
“I can relate to all individuals regardless of the place they stay, what they hope for or what they should overcome,” she mentioned.
CNN’s Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.