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August 2007

A World of Possibilities!

Governor General Michaelle Jean

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May 2007

“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed.  I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.  But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian philosopher and Statesman

Archbishop of Cantebury
“Human beings are born free, yet everywhere they are in chains.”
Archbishop of Canterbury

February 2007

Governor General's Message on Black History Month

“So much time has passed, so many paths have been cleared… From Josiah Henson, a slave who was sold three times before he and his family found refuge in Canada, where he shared his agricultural knowledge with other former slaves nearly two centuries ago, to Rosemary Brown, who left Jamaica as a young girl and became a figurehead for women’s rights in western Canada from the 1930s to the 1990s; Black History Month gives us the opportunity to remember the women and men who broke down racial barriers and fought discrimination, guided by the strength of their convictions and driven by the hope of a better world.

If the contributions of Canadians of African descent are only acknowledged once a year, it is because they are not known widely enough. May their battles and victories be a source of inspiration for us today, and for future generations. Another way to celebrate the rich diversity of our country is to further cherish our values of respect, equality, liberty and justice.”

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Black History Month Listings - NOW Magazine
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Black History Month

New Year's Message from Governor General

Governor General"Let me start by looking back at 2006, beginning with the year's most recent events. I have just returned from my first State visit as governor general of Canada. I crossed the African continent from Algeria, Mali and Ghana to South Africa and back north to Morocco. Each and every moment of the trip was unique and reinforced my belief that we have far too few opportunities to witness Africa's bright, hopeful side.

Throughout the trip, I set out to shed new light on the continent-showcasing untold perspectives and time-honoured traditions and cultures. I feel it is important to share with my fellow Canadians the vision of an Africa that is full of promise-a continent that is committed to finding its own solutions to the enormous challenges of the day-an Africa that is working towards stability, security, prosperity and freedom. It is this image of Africa that struck me so deeply. And it is this new Africa that Canada has long supported. An Africa whose remarkable, often unseen, efforts we now celebrate together so that it may take its rightful place in the world community.

I will never forget the faces of women, men and children who have chosen hope over pessimism, action over a sense of hopelessness. They are people who are changing an entire continent, one step at a time. I paid tribute to them, on behalf of all Canadians, sharing our admiration and friendship. It is this same spirit of togetherness that, in many ways, has been the hallmark of the past year.

I was deeply touched by the kind words and trust that I shared with so many Canadians. Your stories and experiences for bettering the lives of your fellow citizens are truly remarkable. This important work, often done out of the spotlight, makes all the difference. I look forward to pursuing my discussions with Canadians who bring hope to their communities in each province and territory, every city and town.

Certainly, we must all celebrate and salute the community spirit and actions of our fellow citizens. I also know that this has been a difficult year for many families. My thoughts are especially with our soldiers in Afghanistan and their loved ones-who have endured great hardship. Indeed, they are making great sacrifices. Let me share with you that everywhere I have been-everywhere-I have been moved by the courage, energy, generosity and openness of the Canadian people.

For me, that openness is living proof of our success as a country. That openness is also our greatest message of hope for humanity. As we embark on a new year, dear friends, let us not forget this important message that we, as Canadians, can bring to the world. And let us strengthen our resolve to spread this message far and wide.

My husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, my daughter Marie-Eden and the Rideau Hall team join me in wishing you all peace, health, happiness and serenity."

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