The Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette, arrived in a snowy Yellowknife Tuesday morning, en route to the official opening of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway in both of those communities Wednesday.
"Nice to meet you, where are you from?" she asked, while inspecting soldiers, sailors and airmen at the 440 Squadron hangar.
Payette will spend the day meeting with N.W.T. dignitaries including Premier Bob McLeod and Chief Edward Sangris of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
Tuesday afternoon, she's scheduled to meet Yellowknife mayor Mark Heyck before holding a discussion on sustainability with northern leaders.
She'll also visit the Joint Task Force North headquarters, followed by a dinner with the premier and Brig.-Gen. Mike Nixon, the commander of the Joint Task Force.
This is Payette's first official visit to the Northwest Territories as the Governor General. Payette, 53, is most famous for her time as an astronaut between 1992 and 2013, when she flew two missions in space. She was chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.
Payette was selected for the role of Governor General in July. She has since shown herself unafraid to express her commitment to science and fact, especially on the subject of climate change.