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Inuk leader Mary Simon’s appointment as Canada’s next governor general was met with division this week, after she revealed that she could not speak French, one of the country’s two official languages. “Based on my experience growing up in Quebec, I was denied the chance to learn French during my time in the federal government day schools,” she said Tuesday after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named her to the position. Federal day schools operated from the 1860s to the 1990s separately from residential schools, but they were run by many of the same groups that ran residential schools.

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