Canadian Olympic wheelchair athlete Richard Peter has been visiting schoolchildren in Iqaluit with an inspirational message.

Peter, who retired from the Olympic wheelchair basketball squad in 2012, won a silver medal and three gold medals over the course of his lengthy Olympic career.

He was hit by a bus at the age of four in his home community of Duncan, B.C.

"When I got hurt I was the only person in a wheelchair in my community," he told schoolchildren in an effort to break down barriers for people with disabilities.

It's the first time a Team Canada wheelchair athlete has visited Nunavut's capital.

Peter, a member of the Cowichan Tribes of British Columbia, was the only First Nations athlete on Canada's paralympic team in Beijing. He began representing Canada in international basketball competitions in 1994.

He recalled when he was a youngster seeing wheelchair basketball for the first time.

"I was like - wow, who are these guys? It was like a whole new world for me."

Wendy Ireland of the Nunavummi Disabilities Society said Peter's visit was inspiring.

"He's a really motivating kind of personality. I think it really benefits us when our youth see that and are inspired to be more inclusive."