May 9 to 13, 2022
Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Whit Fraser undertook an official visit to Nunavik, northern Quebec, from May 9 to 13, 2022.
During the visit to the Governor General’s home region, Their Excellencies travelled to Kuujjuaq, on the Koksoak River; to Kangiqsualujjuaq, at the mouth of the George River near where Her Excellency was born; and to Inukjuak, on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay.
Their Excellencies met with Inuit leaders, youth groups, teachers, students and members of Nunavik organizations to discuss community wellness, the importance of education, Indigenous reconciliation and mental health. They also learned about new wellness programs in support of youth and families.
May 9, 2022
In the morning, Her Excellency met with representatives from Makivik Corporation, Kativik Regional Government (KRG), Nunavik Regional Board of Health & Social Services (NHBHSS), Kativik Ilisarniliriniq (school board) and Qarjuit Youth Council.
Next, Her Excellency was greeted by a Canadian Rangers guard of honour in front of Katittavik Town Hall before taking part in a meeting with Her Worship Mary Johannes, Mayor of Kuujjuaq and with councillors to discuss local issues, projects and plans.
In the afternoon, Their Excellencies visited the Isuarsivik Recovery Centre’s Qarmak at the Three Lakes Site. Their Excellencies discussed Isuarsivik’s culturally based wellness program that promotes Inuit pride, self-empowerment and healing, and toured the organization’s new centre.
Later in the day, Her Excellency spoke with students at the Jannimmarik High School and answered their questions as part of a town hall. Jaanimmarik School has about 350 students, from Grade 4 to Secondary V. The school offers courses in English, French and Inuktitut, and is part of Kativik Ilisarniliriniq (school board), created under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
Next, Their Excellencies visited the Tusaajiapik Elders’ Home in Kuujjuaq. The Tusaajiapik Elders’ Home is a living environment adapted to Inuit culture.
May 10, 2022
Their Excellencies were welcomed by His Worship McCombie Annanack, Mayor of Kangiqsualujjuaq, and a Canadian Rangers guard of honour at the Kangiqsualujjuaq Airport. Her Excellency discussed local issues, projects and plans with the Mayor and counsellors.
Next, they visited the Ulluriaq school where the Governor General presented a Governor General’s Academic Medal certificate.
Their Excellencies learned about the programming at the Qarmaapik House, which works with local families to provide crisis support and wellness activities.
In the afternoon, they visited the Kuururjuaq National Park Interpretation Centre, which includes a section about the Governor General’s father and many displays about the natural beauty of the park.
May 11, 2022
Unfortunately, Governor General Simon was unable to make her way to Kangiqsujuaq, due to difficult flying conditions.
May 12, 2022
Her Excellency met with His Worship Pauloosie Kasudluak, Mayor of Inukjuak, and with councillors to discuss local issues, projects and plans.
Next, Their Excellencies met with staff and students Innalik School and observed cultural performances. Her Excellency gave informal remarks, presented a Governor General’s Academic Medal certificate and participated in a town hall.
At lunch, they helped staff and volunteers at the Sirivik Food Centre serve food to the residents of Inukjuak.
In the afternoon, Their Excellencies visited to the Avataq Cultural Institute where they discussed the protection and promotion of Inuit culture and language with Avataq staff.
Later on, Her Excellency spoke with girls at the Qulliq Youth Rehabilitation Centre for Girls, followed by a visit to the Unaaq Men’s Association, where Their Excellencies took part in rope making for dog teams.