North

Yukon woman's 'powerful moment' with the Duchess of Cambridge

'They want to understand the realities in our communities,' said Kluane First Nation member Kluane Adamek, after meeting Prince William and Kate Middleton at a reception in Vancouver.

Kluane Adamek met Will and Kate at a young leaders event in Vancouver

Kluane Adamek says it was a bit overwhelming to find herself so close to the royals as well as the Prime Minister and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. 'Kate has amazing style. I loved her dress,' Adamek said. (Submitted by Kluane Adamek)

Kluane Adamek says she was completely "star struck" meeting royalty on Sunday in Vancouver, but still managed to have a serious talk with the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Kluane First Nation member was invited to represent the North at a young leaders event, attended by Prince William and Kate. Maatalii Okalik, president of the National Inuit Youth Council, was also there to represent the North.

Adamek said she was able to meet and speak to both the Duke and Duchess, and found them to be "beautiful people, inside and out," she said.

The royals 'were just very calm, very kind, and really inquisitive. They wanted to hear from you,' Adamek said. (Submitted by Kluane Adamek)

"They're very, very kind, very open, and they really want to know, they want to understand the realities in our communities."

Adamek said she told the royals how excited she was that they were visiting Yukon later this week. Then the conversation became more serious.

"Some of the questions they had — in particular the Duchess — was in relation to suicide, and why is that [happening] in our Northern communities.

"So we actually got to have a conversation about that, and talking about the importance of identity and culture and young people knowing who they are and where they come from. So that was a really powerful moment with her, and I'm really grateful."

'A little bit overwhelming'

Adamek also met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau at the event. She says she spoke to Mme. Trudeau about art and culture.

The prime minister's wife was apparently quite taken by Adamek's beaded shawl, designed by Yukoner Heather Dickson. Adamek had it flown down to Vancouver, just for Sunday's event.

The Vancouver event brought young leaders from across Canada to meet the royals. 'They were really, you know, I think grateful for having the opportunity to meet with so many amazing young people,' Adamek said. (Submitted by Kluane Adamek)

Adamek said her interactions with the royals as well as the prime minister and his wife were brief, but still "a little bit overwhelming."

"Right beside me was the Duchess and then Mme. Trudeau, and right in front of me was the Duke and our prime minister.

"I had one of those moments where I almost tried to stop time and just calm right down, and just be in the moment."

with files from Sandi Coleman

now