North

Spotted? From handgames to Iqaluit post office, Bernie Sanders appears across Canada's North

Did Bernie Sanders take a tour in the North? From handgames to the Iqaluit post office, the Vermont senator — and his mittens — is making appearances across Canada's territories.

Whatever the meme may be at the moment, Indigenous people always put the best spin on it,' says Paulette

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders spotted participating in a handgames tournament in a spoof photo. The senator has been popping up in memes since he appeared in those fuzzy mittens during President Joe Biden's inauguration. (Submitted by Thaidene Paulette)

If we didn't know any better, it would have seemed that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took a tour through Canada's North recently.

The U.S. senator popped up in a series of spoof photos this week that showed him in front of Iqaluit's post office, at a handgames tournament, and all the way to Yukon, posing in front of the SS Klondike.

The hilarious shots were part of a wave of Bernie Sanders memes that have cropped up after he drew fashion praise on social media for his cozy, comfortable attire at President Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, including a fuzzy pair of mittens.

And northerners couldn't resist turning the photo of Sanders, cozied up on a chair with his mittens, into memes.

Bernie Sanders poses with the SS Klondike in Yukon in a spoof photo. (Patricia Jones)

Thaidene Paulette in Fort Smith, N.W.T., was behind the meme of Sanders playing traditional Indigenous handgames.

"We basically live in the age of memes right now ... like with the internet and stuff going viral," Paulette said. "Whatever the meme may be at the moment, Indigenous people always put the best spin on it."

He said he opted to put the U.S. senator into the handgames photo because it was fitting, based on Sanders' posture, which is similar to how players sit.

Opposing teams of men kneel in lines and challenge each other to guess which hand an object is in — the idea is to trick the opponent into guessing the wrong hand.

Paulette says Sanders could make a good handgames player in real life, calling him "pretty sly."

"Those old timers are pretty good, you know, you don't think they move around too much, but once they get playing, they're into it and they can pull some tricks," he said.

"So I wouldn't be surprised if Bernie's an old champ, maybe."

Handgames isn't the only adventure the senator had in the North.

Northerners enjoyed putting Sanders on a scene of a Nunavut government COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory's chief public health officer.

And they took him on a hunting trip.

He watched Yukon's well-known Bhangra dancer Gurdeep Pandher Bhangra.

And was outfitted with more traditional wear.

He went to the recycle depot in Whitehorse, made a pit stop at Tags gas station downtown, and of course, dropped by the public library.

Then Sanders took a load-off at the Iqaluit post office.

And finally, he waited for the northern lights to dance through the sky.

Written by Amy Tucker, with files from Alex Brockman

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