Simon kicks off Nunavut visit with stop in Iqaluit

Governor General makes first official visit to territory on Nunavut’s 25th anniversary

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, centre, poses with her husband Whit Fraser, left, and Premier P.J. Akeeagok at Simon’s official welcoming to Nunavut, which took place at the legislative assembly on Monday morning. (Photo by David Lochead)

By David Lochead

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon’s four-day visit to Nunavut started with smiles and handshakes as she was welcomed at the legislative assembly building in Iqaluit Monday morning.

The visit, her first official trip to Nunavut since becoming Governor General in July 2021, came 25 years to the day after Nunavut became Canada’s newest territory on April 1, 1999.

Simon, who grew up in Nunavik, is Canada’s first Indigenous governor general.

Before her arrival Monday, those involved in welcoming her were busy preparing. Politicians, including Premier P.J. Akeeagok, lined up alongside military members and Canadian Rangers to greet Simon.

After she arrived, she shook hands with everyone lined up, saying a few words to each person and speaking both English and Inuktitut in her greetings.

After that, she and her husband, Whit Fraser, made their way into the legislative assembly where they signed the visitors notebook and spoke with people inside including Nunavut Commissioner Eva Qamaniq Aariak and Nunavut MP Lori Idlout.

Simon stopped for a photo with the Canadian Rangers and spoke with them briefly afterward. The official visit ended with two private conversations with Aariak and then Akeeagok.

Whit Fraser, left, has some fun as he tries on a hat while holding a mug. Both were part of a gift bag marking Nunavut’s 25th anniversary presented by Premier P.J. Akeeagok, who is laughing on the right. (Photo by David Lochead)

Prior to his conversation with Simon, Akeeagok presented her and Fraser with a gift bag for Nunavut’s 25th anniversary. They had some fun with the exchange, as Fraser eagerly tried on a hat that was inside the bag.

As well, Akeeagok presented a knife to Fraser and an ulu to Simon.

On Monday evening, Simon was scheduled to attend Nunavut 25 community festivities at the Aqsarniit hotel, organized by the Government of Nunavut.

Simon is scheduled to visit Kimmirut on Tuesday morning, then return to Iqaluit for more activities that night and on Wednesday before finishing her Nunavut visit Thursday with a trip to Qikiqtarjuaq.

  • Gov. Gen. Mary Simon signs the visitors book inside the legislative assembly in Iqaluit on Monday morning. (Photo by David Lochead)
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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by art thompson on

    moses parted the red sea and walked into the promised land of gaililee. LOL

  2. Posted by Articrick on

    No drycleaners in Nunavut. Sorry miss Simon.

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