Official visit to British Columbia

May 20 to 24, 2022

Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Whit Fraser undertook an official visit to British Columbia from May 20 to 24, 2022.

May 20, 2022

Upon arrival in Victoria, Their Excellencies were greeted by Her Honour the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, and traditional First Nations chiefs.

The Governor General received a Viceregal Salute and inspected a guard of honour while a 21-gun salute was fired. Once inside, Their Excellencies signed the guest book and met with the founders of the Orange Shirt movement.

Next, Their Excellencies met with the Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia.

In the afternoon, Their Excellencies met with the Lieutenant Governor and Premier of British Columbia and Indigenous leadership from the region.

May 21, 2022

Their Excellencies visited the Institute of Ocean Sciences to meet with marine researchers and learn more about their ongoing work.

The Institute of Ocean Sciences is an important link in Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s nationwide network of major scientific facilities. The work undertaken here contributes to maritime safety, our understanding of the ocean and marine ecosystems, and the sustainability of Canada’s marine resources.

May 23, 2022

Their Excellencies met with Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir and members of the community in Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops) to pay their respects to the children left in unmarked graves and to the survivors of the residential school. The Governor General will delivered remarks at the memorial event in honour of “Le Estcwicwéỳ”, which means “the missing.” The memorial included cultural performances and dances, hand drumming, prayers and remarks from various speakers.

Back in Victoria, as commander-in-chief of Canada, the Governor General delivered remarks at a ceremony commemorating 75 years since the creation of the Canadian Rangers.

The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Army Reserve who live and work in remote, isolated and coastal regions of Canada. They provide light-equipped, self-sufficient mobile forces to support Canadian Armed Forces national security and public safety operations within Canada.

May 24, 2022

Their Excellencies met with students at Oaklands Elementary School. During their visit, they found out more about the Legacy Totem Project and took part in a question-and-answer session. The Governor General also read Fishing with Grandma, a children’s book written by Inuit authors, to a group of younger students.

Oaklands Elementary School is a vibrant community school that encompasses a population of approximately 500 kindergarten to Grade 5 students, who are instructed in fine arts, athletics, a core curriculum (math, language arts, science and social studies), social responsibility, and French.

In the afternoon, Their Excellencies spoke with students from the University of Victoria who are enrolled in both the Indigenous Language Revitalization Program and the Joint Degree Program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders (JD/JID).

The Indigenous Language Revitalization Program provides practical strategies to support communities in their efforts to retain and revitalize their languages. The JD/JID combines classroom learning with field studies in collaboration with communities to develop the skills needed to work within and at the interface of Indigenous legal orders and Canadian common law.