Inuit ambassador Piita Irniq was in the Winnipeg airport on Monday when he bumped into Ron MacLean, longtime co-host of Hockey Night in Canada.

In addition to taking a photo, the two chatted for a while. Irniq says he found MacLean to be “very humble and down to earth.”

The iconic thumbs-up shared by Piita Irniq and CBC sportscaster Ron MacLean at the Winnipeg airport.
photo courtesy of Piita Irniq

“He was quite amazed when I said I was born in an iglu and lived in an iglu for the first 11 years of my life until when I was taken by the church and the Government of Canada to go to (residential) school” Irniq wrote on Facebook. “Then after talking for a five or 10 minutes, he said, hey, it was a real pleasure meeting you.”

Irniq says he remembers watching professional hockey for the first time in the early 1970s after the Anik satellite was launched, which broadcast television programming across the country.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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