[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
I want to recognize a great Canadian, and, full disclosure, he is my cousin.
Jordin Tootoo learned to play hockey in our home community of Rankin Inlet. He played four seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings before joining the Nashville Predators in 2003, becoming the first Inuk to play in the NHL. After 13 seasons, Jordin has announced his retirement from professional hockey.
Jordin has faced struggles in his life. He lost his older brother to suicide. He conquered an alcohol addiction that threatened to end his playing career. He has turned those experiences into opportunities to promote mental wellness and suicide prevention. He has always given back to Inuit and indigenous communities and now will have more time to focus on his work with indigenous youth.
Jordin is an inspiration to all indigenous people, and indeed, to all Canadians. He has shown us that one can find success in life, even in the face of tough challenges, and how to help others find their way.
Jordin's Inuk name, Kudluk, means “thunder” in Inuktitut. Long may he roar.