Retired National Hockey League forward Jordin Tootoo, the guest speaker at the Maadaadizi Aboriginal student orientation, signs the hat of Paul Fox on Saturday at Marina Park.

In Ojibwe, Maadaadizi means start a journey.

On Saturday, hundreds of Indigenous post-secondary students had a good start on that journey.

The Maadaadizi Indigenous Student Orientation was held at Marina Park, full of entertainment, food, and information booths including those for Lakehead University, YES Employment Services, Ontario Native Women’s Association, Anishnawbe Mushkiki, Science North, the Thunder Bay Public Library and Canadian Mental Health Association.

The keynote speaker was former National Hockey League forward Jordin Tootoo. No stranger to addiction and suicide among Indigenous youths — his brother Terence took his own life at the age of 22 in 2002 — the 36-year-old Rankin Inlet, Nunavut native has been bringing his message to Indigenous functions throughout Canada.

See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal.

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