Mary Simon, OC, QC, comes from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (Arctic Quebec).
She was recently appointed by the Government of Canada as a Special Representative to the Minister of Indigenous & Northern Affairs. In this role she advises on the development of a new Shared Arctic Leadership Model. You can view a copy of her report here, which includes recommendations on how to improve education, language, telecommunications, infrastructure and energy generation in Arctic communities.
Mary is the recent past president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Inuit Organization (2006-2012), and Chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education where her mandate was to implement a comprehensive national strategy, aimed at improving Inuit educational standards and achievements.(2012-2014)
She has advanced critical social, economic and human rights issues for Canadian Inuit regionally, nationally and internationally.
Ms. Simon led Canada’s negotiations during the creation of the eight Nation, Arctic Council in the mid 1990’s.
She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Recipient of the National Order of Quebec, the Gold Order of Greenland, The National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gold Order of the Canadian Geographic Society, The Symons Medal, the Governor General’s Northern Award. She has been inducted into the International Women’s Hall of Fame.
Ms.Simon has also received nine honorary doctorates of Laws from 9 Canadian Universities. She also served as Chancellor of Trent University.
In 2013 Ms. Simon received recognition as a nation builder from the Famous Five. She was recently honoured by the Public Policy Forum for her contributions to public life, public policy and governance in Canada.
She is also an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
She is a recent recipient of the CCAB/SODEXO Award for “Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.
Most recently, Ms. Simon has been actively involved in the creation of a new organization called “Canadians For a New Partnership” where she serves as Co-chair on the Board of Directors.