LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture 2022: Her Excellency, the Rt Hon Mary Simon

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon will deliver the 19th LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary on October 6, 2022.

The LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture is hosted annually by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), Canada’s leading citizenship organization and the world’s foremost voice on citizenship and inclusion. For Ticket information click here.

Her Excellency the Right Honourable
Mary Simon, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., O.Q., C.D.,
Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada
Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG-BSGG, 2021

The theme of the 2022 LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture is Reconciliation and the evolution of Canada.

“The LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture exists to advance the promise of egalitarianism and inclusion so closely tied to these two founders of Responsible Government more than 180 years ago,” says ICC co-Chair, John Ralston Saul. He continues: “I can’t think of a better person than Mary Simon to help us re-evaluate the past, present and future of how Canada’s first peoples and those of us who arrived more recently can forge a common path forward in a good way.”

The historical narrative of Canada has often ignored Indigenous voices and stories, negatively influencing how Indigenous peoples have been treated and perceived in our country. Today, Canada is committed to reconciliation and we are learning how to incorporate new perspectives and truths into the national story of our country.

Ms. Simon’s address will explore the importance of teaching Canada’s true history—the good and the bad—both as acts of reconciliation and citizenship, opening the door to an account of history that is as inclusive and diverse as its people. As Canada’s governor general and the first Indigenous person to hold this office, Mary Simon is uniquely positioned to bring all Canadians together for this vital public discussion.

“We are thrilled to provide the forum in which Her Excellency can deliver this landmark address”, says ICC CEO, Daniel Bernhard. “Whether we are Canadians by birth or by choice makes no difference. It is every Canadian’s obligation to take part in the work of reconciliation—however and wherever they can.”

About Her Excellency, The Rt. Hon. Mary Simon

Born in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec), Her Excellency, The Rt. Hon. Mary May Simon was sworn in on July 26, 2021, as Canada’s first Indigenous governor general.

Ms. Simon began her career as a radio broadcaster with the CBC Northern Service (now CBC North), and subsequently gained national and international recognition for her work on Arctic and Indigenous issues and for her efforts in advocating for Inuit rights, youth, education and culture. She was also actively involved in negotiations leading to the 1982 patriation of the Canadian Constitution, which formally entrenched Aboriginal and treaty rights in the supreme law of Canada. From 1994 to 2003, Ms. Simon served as ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, becoming the first Inuk to hold an ambassadorial position. For Ms. Simon’s full biography, click here.

About the Institute for Canadian Citizenship

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national non-profit organization co-founded by The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul. The ICC works to inspire Canadians to be inclusive, create opportunities to connect, and encourage active citizenship. Since 2005, the ICC has supported more than 450,000 new Canadian citizens with programming to encourage a sense of belonging and build a more inclusive Canada.

Read more about the LaFontaine-Baldwin Lectures here.

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