They were a little shy at first, but it didn’t take long for local Indigenous youth to warm up to retired NHL player Jordin Tootoo Friday.
About two dozen youth took to the ice for a skate at Total Ice before meeting the NHL star and inpsirational speaker.
He handed out autographed mini-sticks, talked with the kids about the importance of eatinghealthy and working hard and also sharing a bit about his time playing in the NHL.
Tootoo and Theo Fluery were in town the night before to share their personal stories of overcoming challenges, hardships and recovery with a mature audience.
Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars emceed the evening at the Gibraltar Room and said Tootoo’s and Fluery’s stories and the evening as a whole was inspirational.
“It changed my life,” Sellars said of the event. “And I’m sure it did for many in the room.”
Friday morning Tootoo met with children for about an hour before heading home to Kelowna.
See Wednesday’s Tribune for more.