REGINA -- Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor said the installation of Canada’s first Indigenous Governor-General is a step in the right direction for Canadians.

Russ Mirasty, the first Indigenous person to represent the Queen in Saskatchewan, was struck by the significance of the historic swearing-in.

“The reality, both for myself and her, to have an Indigenous person occupy these high levels of government within the country.”

Mary Simon, a prominent Inuk leader and former ambassador, became Canada’s 30th Governor-General on Monday

Simon has played several key roles in advancing Inuit culture, as well as social, environmental, and human rights as an advocate and negotiator.

In her first remarks, Simon pledged to play a role in the rethinking she says is needed when it comes to reconciliation.

Mirasty said building a bridge to reconciliation is a goal he and Simon share.

“It is a lofty goal, but I think the point there is she’s willing to tackle that and take it on as I have,” he said. “It’s really up to individuals to do our part but because she in her position kind of has the ability to influence a broader range of people.”

Mirasty said the highlight of the role as Queen’s representative is getting into the community to speak with people face to face about their work and passions, and it’s something he looks forward to resuming now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted.

“The province is so diverse, and so many people offering many things on an individual basis,” Mirasty said. “It gives me great joy to see that and gives me hope for the future.

“When we talk about reconciliation it’s a difficult journey but what I see from people is a willingness to try to understand."

Last week as governor general-designate Simon had her first audience with the Queen, held virtually.

As governor-general, Simon will play a crucial role in constitutional matters and within minority governments when it comes to questions of confidence and calling elections, a duty she may be called to fulfill sooner rather than later with the ongoing speculation that there will be an election call in August.

With files from’s Rachel Aiello.