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Canada raises the bar with first Indigenous GG, sends important message to international community

By Dalee Sambo Dorough      

This high-profile platform provides an unprecedented opportunity to educate Canadians and the world about Inuit and Indigenous peoples in general.

Gov.-Gen. Mary Simon, pictured July 26, 2021, shortly after she was installed as GG, laying flowers at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. 'Having worked with GG Simon when she was the democratically elected president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada from 1982 to 1989, I can attest to the fact that she cut her teeth in the Inuit world, on the international stage, and is now in a position to have extraordinary influence on the government of Canada, writes Dalee Sambo Dorough. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—This summer’s appointment of Mary Simon as Governor General—an Inuk born in Kangiqsualujjuaq in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec—sends an important message from Canada to the international community. In sharp contrast to the current political milieu across the globe, there is no other democratically elected government on earth taking such progressive actions in relation to Indigenous human rights and representation in a politically honest and intellectually challenged manner. It has been challenged by naysayers that have criticized accommodation of Indigenous peoples’ aspirations, but resulting in the majority willing to affirm and acknowledge the status, role, and rights of Indigenous peoples, including Inuit. This is unparalleled by governments anywhere else.

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