Governor general Mary Simon will deliver the keynote address at a conference at Trent University on Saturday (October 22).
Entitled “Northern Nationalisms, Arctic Mythologies, and the Weight of History,” the conference is being held in honour of eminent Arctic historian and former Trent University professor Dr. Shelagh Grant.
As well as teaching history and Canadian studies at Trent University for 17 years, Grant was the first historian and first woman to receive the Northern Science Award in 1996, and was active on various Inuit policy advisory committees, editorial boards. and northern scholarship committees.
Grant, who died in July 2020 of esophageal cancer at the age of 82, was part of the original team involved in the founding of The Canadian Canoe Museum. In August, Grant’s family donated $250,000 for the new museum currently being constructed beside Beavermead Park in Peterborough.
Saturday’s national conference will bring together established and emerging scholars to explore various themes in the study of the Canadian North.
Canada’s first Indigenous governor general, Mary Simon was born in 1947 in Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec), to Nancy May (Angnatuk-Askew), her Inuk mother, and Bob Mardon May, her father, who moved to the Arctic to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Simon 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.
The governor general will speak at 12:15 p.m. in the Great Hall at Champlain College.