Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that Canada will be getting its first Indigenous governor general with the appointment of Mary Simon.
Trudeau said Queen Elizabeth II has approved the appointment of Simon, a prominent Inuk leader who was formerly the Canadian ambassador to Denmark and who played a leading role in the creation of the Arctic Council.
Simon is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and has been honoured over the last several decades with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gold Order of the Canadian Geographic Society and the Governor General’s Northern Award.
“I can confidently say that my appointment is a historic and inspirational moment for Canada, and an important step forward on the long path to reconciliation,” Simon told reporters.
The announcement comes five months after former governor general Julie Payette resigned amid a “scathing” workplace conduct review and as speculation heats up that the federal parties are on the verge of a summer election before the House of Commons returns in the fall.