Mary Simon named minister of Indigenous Affairs’ special representative on Arctic

CBC News published an article titled “Mary Simon named minister of Indigenous Affairs’ special representative on Arctic.” The article reads in part as follows:

Prominent Inuit leader Mary Simon has been named the minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs’ special representative on Arctic issues.

Simon, originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, in Northern Quebec will be working with Carolyn Bennett on a new Shared Arctic Leadership Model.

Part of Simon’s work will be to assist the federal government to implement the US-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy and Arctic Leadership.

“I am very very excited,” says Simon.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue to work on the issues that are confronting us in the Arctic.”

Simon is well-known in Inuit communities. She’s a past president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national Inuit organization, chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education and was involved in the creation of the Arctic Council.

She’s also the recipient of numerous national and international accolades. She’s an officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the National Order of Quebec, and a member of the Gold Order of Greenland.

‘It’s about the people’

A big part of Simon’s new position will be carrying out the Trudeau-Obama shared Arctic leadership model, something Simon interprets as working on “how we can engage and involve the North more in decision making.”

Simon admits that it’s a big job and says it will take a lot of coordination to help Northern communities do things like getting away from diesel power generation and towards more green energy.

But Simon’s role is not limited to conservation and environmental issues. Her mandate also includes tackling unemployment, education and health and wellness issues.

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