Julie Payette. Image credit: Facebook page
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Ottawa, Oct 3 (Canadian-Media): Julie Payette, a 53-year-old former astronaut who flew two missions to space, was installed on Monday as the 29th Governor-General during a ceremony in the Senate chamber that included live musical performances and traditional Indigenous drumming, media reports said.
Payette's speech focused on team work as she recounted without any notes her experiences as an astronaut and said,
"I'm a true believer in the strength of teamwork, in the power of dreams," Ms. Payette said.
"This is exactly the backbone of this country...Anyone can accomplish anything."
Speaking at times in the Algonquin language -- First-Nation language -- Payette also focused on reconciliation with Canada's First Nations people and said,
"Reconciliation must succeed for the well being of our communities and for the future of our children."
First Nations people in Canada are the people who used to be called "Indians,"but now these people prefer to be called First Nations. First Nations people identify themselves by the nation to which they belong, for example, Mohawk, Cree, Oneida, and so on.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was a truth and reconciliation commission organized by the parties of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and was part of a holistic and comprehensive response to the abuse inflicted on Indigenous peoples through the Indian residential school system, and the harmful legacy of those institutions. The Commission was officially established in June, 2008, and was completed in December 2015.
Truth and Reconcilation (TRC) hopes to guide and inspire Aboriginal peoples and Canadians in a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships that are based on mutual understanding and respect.
Payette's installation ceremony was attended by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and other members of the cabinet.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
Trudeau spoke about Payette's dedication to science and called her "a team player, a trailblazer, and a pioneer who proved to boys and girls, men and women across this great country that the sky was, in fact, not the limit."
"As an agent of change and a powerful voice for progress, Canada's two-times extraterrestrial will bring a new perspective on Canada and its place in the world," Trudeau said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)