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Mary Simon was the first Canadian governor to meet the Pope

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Francis arrived in Quebec from Edmonton. At the “Citadelle de Québec” he pays a courtesy call to the governor, who has attended various appointments in recent days. Immediately, the Pope will meet privately with Prime Minister Trudeau and civil officials

Lisa Zengarini – Vatican City

Pope Francis arrived in Quebec City after about a four-hour flight from Edmonton. Only one meeting would mark the Pope’s day in the Eastern Province or a meeting with the civil authorities. In fact, the Pope will soon go to the “Citadelle de Québec” where a courtesy visit to the Governor General of Canada, Mary May Simon, will be held at her official residence; Immediately after, there will be a personal interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, followed by a meeting with civil officials along with representatives of indigenous peoples and members of the diplomatic corps.

First Aboriginal woman to be appointed Governor of Canada

Mary May Simon was appointed as the 30th Governor General of Canada on July 6, 2021. He is the first tribal leader to hold this position in the country. He is 75 and has three children, a daughter of a local Inuit woman and an English father, a fur trader at the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost. She is bilingual, speaking English and Inuktitut, a North American indigenous language of the Canadian Arctic.

A strong advocate for the rights of Aboriginal peoples, Simon helped negotiate the landmark James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in the early 1970s, which in 1975 gave the province its first recognition of Cree and Inuit rights in the James Bay region. He was president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), a national Aboriginal organization that promotes the rights of Inuit. In 2002, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed him Canada’s first ambassador to the Arctic, where he worked closely with other Arctic nations to strengthen cooperation in the region. Mary Simon was also Canada’s ambassador to Denmark.

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In 2008, he accepted a formal amnesty from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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