'It's time,' says Inuit of Mary Simon, the first Inuk governor general.

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Kirti Pathak
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Mary Simon

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Outside of the North, Ottawa has the biggest Inuit population, and the city is commemorating Mary Simon's inauguration as the first Inuk governor-general. This piece of history has produced a resounding sense of pride at Larga Baffin, where residents from Nunavut's Qikiqtani (Baffin) area stay when traveling to Ottawa for medical purposes, according to its new president Malaya Zehr.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm in my neighborhood, and certainly around the country. It's really thrilling "Zehr said. "It's a step in the right direction, and history is being written." COVID- On Monday, 19 limitations restricted the amount of celebration, but the facility's common room TVs were turned into the event so everyone could watch.

When Simon was sworn in, there was applause and even tears, according to Zehr. According to Zehr, many Inuit would normally host a large gathering for an event like this, complete with a feast and traditional country food, but that is no longer feasible because of the epidemic.

"Many families, I'm sure, are celebrating within their own groups and families. But, if and when the opportunity arises and we are able to hold a meeting, I'm confident that it will take place in the near future "Zeher said. She feels Simon will offer Indigenous people a voice, especially as more conversations about truth and reconciliation take place.

"It's past due, and it's past time. And I believe this will make a significant difference for Canada as a whole. To be honest, this is the moment. The timing couldn't be more perfect, " Zehr said.

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