Saskatchewan’s Lt. Governor said the appointment of Mary Simon as Canada’s Governor General is the correct choice.

“She has a tremendous background, both nationally and internationally. I think based on that, plus the fact that she is Inuk and has lived on the land and has that lived experience. Combined with the professional experience, I think it is the right choice,” said Russ Mirasty.

Simon is the first Indigenous person to be named as the Queen’s representative. She is bilingual in English and Inuktitut and is learning French, but admitted that her education at government mandated Day Schools, prevented her from learning French. She grew up in Northern Quebec, living on the land in a very traditional lifestyle.

“Anytime you can bring that lived experience to a position and, and be willing to share that experience in the context of what’s going on today across the country. And in her case, even my case, the residential school issues, I think it’s really important because it brings up credibility and that realism to the current situation,” Mirasty explained. “You can talk in the first person as I can. And so it’s very helpful when we’re talking to people that may not have the same knowledge you’re experiencing, and sharing it creates that understanding that we are seeking.”

Simon’s father was a Caucasian man from Manitoba, who she said taught her the non-native world. “Combined with these experiences, allowed me to be a bridge between the different lived realities that together make up the tapestry of Canada. I can relate to all people, no matter where they live, what they hope for, or what they need to overcome,” Simon said Tuesday.

Simon’s appointment comes five-months after the resignation of Julie Payette amid controversy. She must preside over a minority federal government, which could see the Prime Minister seek her to dissolve Parliament later this year to call a federal election.

Simon is a former Ambassador to Demark and of Circumpolar Affairs. “I believe strongly that if we embrace our common humanity and shared responsibility for one another, Canada’s brightest days are yet to come. I am dedicated to doing everything in my power to build an inspire that future,” said Simon.