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Mary Simon to become Canada's first indigenous governor general

By Zarrin Ahmed
Mary Simon will replace Julie Payette as Canada’s governor general, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday. File Photo by Valerie Blum/EPA-EFE
Mary Simon will replace Julie Payette as Canada’s governor general, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday. File Photo by Valerie Blum/EPA-EFE

July 6 (UPI) -- Mary Simon will become Canada's first indigenous governor general, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.

Simon, an Inuk leader, is the first Indigenous person to hold the position that was left open after Julie Payette resigned in February.

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She was formerly the Canadian ambassador to Denmark, played a leading role in the creation of the Arctic Council, was president of Makivik Corporation and founded the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation.

Simon has been awarded the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, Gold Order of the Canadian Geographic Society and the Governor General's Northern Award.

"Simon has dedicated her life to advancing social, economic, and human rights issues for Canadian Inuit and Indigenous peoples, and I am confident that she will serve Canadians and promote our shared values with dedication and integrity," Trudeau said in a statement.

The Advisory Group on the Selection of the Next Governor General advised the appointment.

Approved by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Simon will be Canada's 30th governor general and the 13th appointed by the queen during her 69-year reign.

The governor general acts on behalf of the Sovereign, Canada's Head of State and is responsible for serving as commander-in-chief and representing Canada at home and abroad.

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