As of 12:00 p.m. on January 20, 2021, the United States officially has a new president and vice president. Kamala Harris takes office as the first female, Black and Asian-American vice president in American history.
For Montrealers, Harris' ascension comes with another cause for celebration.
I’m here today because of the women who came before me.
Kamala Harris on Instagram
The former California senator and attorney general spent many of her formative years in the city, attending Westmount High School while her mother, Dr. Shyamala Harris, worked at the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University.
On Wednesday, Westmount High School shared a video message from students and teachers congratulating the barrier-breaking alumna.
The new vice president made clear in her memoir, however, that she had mixed feelings about living in Quebec's metropolis.
"Moving away from sunny California [...] to a French-speaking foreign city covered in twelve feet of snow was distressing, to say the least," she wrote.
She also struggled with French.
"I used to joke that I felt like a duck because all day long at our new school I'd be saying 'Quoi? Quoi? Quoi?'"
She said she eventually "adjusted" to Quebec, but returned to the United States after high school to attend Howard University.
But as Harris steps into the second-highest office in the country, Montrealers can at least be proud that she takes her experience in the city with her.