A former Haitian refugee is being sworn in Tuesday as Canada's governor general, the representative of Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

Michaelle Jean will be the first black and only the third woman to hold the position. At 48, she is also one of Canada's youngest governor generals. She replaces Adrienne Clarkson in the ceremonial role.

Ms. Jean immigrated to Canada's French-speaking Quebec province as a child, after her parents fled Haiti to escape dictatorial rule. Critics have accused her of ties to Quebec's separatist movement, although the former broadcast journalist says she is committed to Canadian federalism.

Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867, but retains some ties to the British crown.

Some information for this report provided by AP.