About 200 people greeted Justin Trudeau in Iqaluit last night at a community feast, many hoping for a handshake or chance to pose with the Liberal leader.
Trudeau gave a brief speech in the packed school gymnasium, saying his trip was all about bringing attention to Northern people.
"This extraordinary part of the world deserves a government that actually listens, that engages, that respects, that builds partnership. A government where you have an MP that is a voice for Nunavut in Ottawa, and not just Ottawa’s voice in Nunavut.”
The local Liberal party association hosted the event but Trudeau was about an hour late, due to travel delays. But that didn't temper the enthusiasm in the crowd.
Trudeau first travelled to Nunavut as a child alongside his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Now he's accompanied by his seven-year-old son, Xavier.
Mosesie Kilabuk says it feels like a repeat of that visit years ago.
“I was never a Liberal, but [there's] always time to meet someone, a celebrity like Mr. Trudeau. I met two Trudeaus in my life. That's enough.”
Some, like Barbara Akoak, admire his political platform.
"It's nice to see someone speaking for environment and aboriginal rights."
Former Liberal MP Jack Anawak was pleased with the event he helped organize.
"It could be, among the young people anyway, almost Trudeau-mania a second time around.”
Trudeau said it was an encouraging start to his Iqaluit visit.
"This trip is about one thing and one thing only and that is understanding that the North and sovereignty in the North and success in the North happens because of one thing and through one thing and that is its people.”
The community feast was followed by a public meet-and-greet at the Francophone Centre.
Trudeau also plans to visit the Iqaluit soup kitchen Tuesday at 11 a.m.