OTTAWA, ON, July 12, 2021 – Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO) / Women of the Métis Nation, the National Indigenous Women’s Organization representing Métis women across the Métis Nation Motherland, is honored to congratulate Governor General Designate Mary Simon, as Canada’s first Indigenous governor general.
This is an historic moment for all Indigenous women across Canada, as we welcome Ms. Mary Simon to this appointment, the first Indigenous person to hold this post, and the first Indigenous woman. Ms. Simon comes with a long record of accomplishments as she becomes Queen Elizabeth II’s representative as Canada’s head of state. As well as being a former broadcaster, she helped negotiate a land claim settlement in 1975 between the Cree and Inuit communities in Quebec’s north and the Quebec government. She was also president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national Inuit rights group. As a diplomat, she was Canada’s representative in Denmark and ambassador for circumpolar affairs, championing Canada’s interests in the Arctic.
It has been an incredibly historic week for Indigenous women, and Indigenous peoples in Canada with the appointment of Governor General Designate Mary Simon, and the historic win of National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, the first ever female National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
It should be noted that two prominent women in political positions have announced decisions not to run for future Member of Parliament positions, notably, Independent Member of Parliament, Jody Wilson Raybould and Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, an Inuk and the New Democratic Party member for Nunavut both citing unconceivable challenges faced by Indigenous women in Canadian Politics.
“We need to recognize that while there have been incredible steps forward for Indigenous women, the institutions of Government and Leadership in Canada are still not safe or welcoming places for Indigenous Women in Canada, and we all need to work together to create meaningful systemic change.” Said President Melanie Omeniho, of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak, Women of the Metis Nation.