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Gino Odjick

Sports (2015)

“Education is freedom. I am just a little Indian boy who grew up on the Rez. If I can do it, so can you.”

Gino is a former National Hockey League player, and spent 12 seasons in the NHL, from 1990–1991 to 2001–2002 for the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, and Vancouver Canucks, where he became known as the “Algonquin Enforcer” for his fighting prowess. Since retiring from the NHL in 2002, he has focused his energies on being a positive role model for Indigenous youth. He has delivered workshops around the province on issues such as bullying, effective communication skills, relationship building, and goal setting. In June 2014, it was revealed that he was diagnosed with AL amyloidosis, a rare, terminal disease which affects the heart. His fans have been very supportive, setting up a trust fund for his care to help his family be close to him while he is in hospital. Additional funds will also go towards funding programs for Indigenous education and health. His words for the youth with whom he works: “I am just a little old Indian boy who grew up on the Rez. If I can do it any one can do it; it just takes work.”