OTTAWA, ON, November 7, 2021 / CNW / – I am a proud Inuk, born in Nunavik, Quebec, in from Canada Arctic. There are approximately 15,000 Inuit living in 15 communities across Nunavik.
The stories of my life are rooted in my love for my mother tongue, Inuktitut, and the traditional customs of our people, the Inuit. Living off the land and water – hunting, fishing and gathering food – was the foundation of my youth. Some of my favorite times are lying in our tents along the George River on a bed of spruce branches and caribou skins, listening to the birds singing in the early morning and the dogs barking and playing in the snow. These are fond memories of my younger years.
But like all stories, there are dark chapters that shaped my life experiences. Chapters that saw Inuktitut and the traditional Inuit way of life deeply affected by colonialism; the landscape of my own first happy memories absent from the Canadian narrative.
Yet adversity often leads to strength, and the Inuit through from Canada Arctic have found ways to move forward. We worked together to create the new territory of Nunavut, a home for the Inuit who live there. And we have worked to promote understanding and healing, knowing that we must not let go of our will for positive change and that we must take back our traditional values and rights. We are committed to sharing a culture and language that reflects the dynamism of my youth. I am comforted that our stories are starting to be seen and heard, through music, art, literature, research, environmental stewardship, new governance arrangements and new perspectives on from Canada the story.
When I was appointed Governor General, the first Indigenous person to hold this position, I was proud to know that I could speak loudly about my life and experiences, Inuit and other Indigenous peoples, and that I could share that. with all Canadians. Being an Inuit Governor General and Governor General of all Canadians is a responsibility that I do not take lightly.
Like Canada progressing towards reconciliation, we must all do all we can to recognize and address the darkest chapters of our collective history, the truth of our history. Reconciliation is a way of life with no end date. I am not here to tell you that it will be easy. I am here to say that it is necessary.
As we celebrate International Inuit Day, I am excited about the promise of our future and how we are moving forward, together.
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SOURCE Governor General of Canada
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