Residents of Canada’s Far North express their admiration for Queen Elizabeth

Residents of regions of Canada’s Far North, including Indigenous peoples, have expressed admiration for the late Queen Elizabeth II, adding to the outpouring of emotions for the late monarch from people around the world.

In Nunavut, Canada’s majority Inuit territory, Joy Suluk of Arviat recalled meeting Her Majesty in 1994 during a royal visit to Rankin Inlet, a small hamlet of less than 3,000 people, saying that she had flown there just to meet the Queens.

Suluk said she showed her craftsmanship to the Queen, who then bought cushions and a quilt after being so impressed with the work.

In the years since the royal visit, Ms Suluk has amassed a large collection of royal memorabilia and said she was heartbroken after learning of the Queen’s death earlier this week. “I’ve always looked up to her, respected her and followed her reign,” she told CBC television.

“She was always my queen.”

“There was this majestic presence of her, and yet she was so down to earth,” said Cathy Towtongie, another Nunavut resident, of her experience with the Queen in 1994.

She was able to meet Her Majesty again in 2002, saying, “I stood right next to the Queen and she smiled at me, and I smiled back, because she’s human like me.”

Former Nunavut premier Paul Okalik was in office during the 2002 visit and met with Her Majesty in the territory’s capital, Iqaluit.

“When she spoke to you, she spoke to you alone. And she was whispering so no one else could hear her conversation with you. This I found unique and very gracious and respectful,” he said.

Residents of the Yukon and Northwest Territories have also expressed admiration for Queen Elizabeth II, Gwich’in Tribal Council Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik, saying Her Majesty is held in very high esteem among her people.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also released a statement on Her Majesty’s death, saying it was “with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s oldest sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a constant presence in our lives — and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.

Prime Minister Trudeau added that he was still in disbelief at the news and called Her Majesty “thoughtful, broad, curious, helpful, funny and so much more”.

“She was one of my favorite people in the world and I will miss her so much,” he said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail at ctomlinson(at)


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