June 7, 2023
Check against delivery
Before we begin, I’d like to acknowledge that we are gathered on Treaty One land and in the heartland of the Red River Métis. Manitoba is also the ancestral home of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Dakota, Dene and Inuit peoples. We would be wise to listen to their wisdom and knowledge of this land, and to learn about their connection to Manitoba, which continues to this day.
It’s a pleasure to be here in Manitoba on my first official visit as governor general. Thank you to the Premier for the warm welcome and to the Lieutenant Governor for hosting today. I feel right at home among friends.
There is wonderful work being done in this province, which I’ve had the chance to see first-hand. I visited a women’s shelter and I met with the compassionate staff who are making a difference in this community. I met with Ukrainian refugees who came to Canada seeking a safe place for their families. Tomorrow, I will meet with students and educators, and with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples who are working together on advancing truth and reconciliation in this country.
I am here to begin a dialogue, one that will extend throughout my mandate. This dialogue is about reconciliation, but it’s also about creating a more diverse and inclusive Canada. It’s about mental health, the environment and young people. I’m here to listen, and to learn about the joys and the challenges of living in this province. I want to hear about your aspirations for the future. I want to encourage your accomplishments and creative solutions.
There is a word in Inuktitut, my mother tongue, that is important for Inuit that I want to share with you today: ajuinnata. It has many different meanings. It is a vow, a promise, to never give up. It’s committing ourselves to action, no matter how daunting the cause may be.
As we strive to improve the world around us, for Indigenous peoples and for our diverse communities, let us all work together, in the spirit of ajuinnata. Let us commit ourselves to change, to listening, to understanding each other. Let us build a community, a city, a province, a country of which we can all be proud. Where we can all thrive.
I’m grateful for what I’ve experienced so far and I look forward to continuing my visit in this wonderful city and beautiful province.