2009 Symons Lecture on the State of Canadian Confederation: “Our Arctic, Our Canada” (by Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami)

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – The title for my lecture today is “Our Arctic, Our Canada.” In choosing this title, a number of possibilities came to mind. Two factors contributed most directly to my choice. The first is that while I may be many things to many people (mother, grandmother, wife, blueberry-pie baker, just to name a few), my public life has been devoted centrally to the advancement of the rights and well-being of the Inuit of Canada and of the circumpolar world. Therefore, it is about Inuit that I wish to speak to you today. The second factor that I considered is that this city and this place is an important venue for Canadians to think about our Confederation – what started it, what has shaped it, where it now stands, and how we can make it better and brighter and enduring for those who come after us. Inuit society is an inclusive society and despite some bumps along the road, much of what shapes Canadian values is our sense of inclusiveness.

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