Remembering Daniel Beardy at Lakehead University

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, from left, his wife Nellie Beardy, and Lakehead President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson took part in a ceremony to commemorate the life of Daniel Beardy.
Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, from left, his wife Nellie Beardy, and Lakehead President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson took part in a ceremony to commemorate the life of Daniel Beardy.

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, from left, his wife Nellie Beardy, and Lakehead President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson took part in a ceremony to commemorate the life of Daniel Beardy.
Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, from left, his wife Nellie Beardy, and Lakehead President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson took part in a ceremony to commemorate the life of Daniel Beardy.
THUNDER BAY – LAKEHEAD UNIVERSITY – Lakehead University President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson and Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy commemorated the life of Beardy’s late son, Daniel, with a ceremony today at Lakehead University.

The Daniel Beardy Memorial Award was created in 2012 in memory of Daniel Beardy, the son of Chief Beardy and his wife Nellie.

Today’s event commemorated the ten years since Daniel’s passing, in 2004.

Dr. Stevenson explained that the purpose of the academic award is to honour Daniel’s life. “Daniel epitomized the spirit, drive, and dreams that institutions such as Lakehead are responsible for helping nurture in all students,” he said.

“We are deeply touched by this Memorial Award,” said Chief Beardy. “The award is both a commemoration and an honour that will keep the name and spirit of our beloved son Daniel alive forever. Daniel worked hard and excelled in everything he set his mind to, and this award goes out to recipients who hold those same ideals.”

Chief Beardy and Dr. Stevenson each presented a personal cheque of $750 to be put towards the award that has, thus far, helped two Lakehead students achieve their post-secondary dreams.

“My hope is that people will join myself and Regional Chief Beardy in ensuring that this award continues to support the dreams of Lakehead students for years to come, and perpetuate Daniel’s memory at our University,” Dr. Stevenson added.

The first recipient of the Daniel Beardy Memorial Award was Trevor Gamache, in 2012-2013. Now a teacher with the Thunder Bay Catholic School Board, Gamache’s letter of thanks was read aloud at the commemoration. It explained that he played for the Fort William North Stars — the same hockey team Daniel suited up for. “I quickly discovered Daniel’s tragic story through coaches and teammates who knew him much closer than I,” wrote Gamache. “It became inspiration in the locker room, and supported our motto of ‘Do it now, as tomorrow may never come’.”

The letter describes Daniel as a ‘dedicated and passionate athlete with a bright future before his life was taken’ on August 1, 2004: “Through stories and knowledge passed down in the hockey locker rooms, even recently through my 4 seasons with the Lakehead Thunderwolves, Daniel’s passion continues to inspire students and athletes in the Thunder Bay area.”Daniel Beardy, a Muskrat Dam First Nation band member, learned to play hockey on a frozen lake with snow banks for boards. His talent and passion for hockey was recognized during the 2003-2004 season when he was named both the top goaltender in the Superior Junior Hockey League and second place goaltender in the National Canadian Junior “A” hockey league. Daniel Beardy was a dedicated individual whose desire for excellence and willingness to work hard inspired and motivated those who knew him.

The Daniel Beardy Memorial Award is conferred upon a Lakehead University undergraduate student with a minimum average of 70% in their courses. For more information about this award, and how to contribute to it, please contact Lakehead University’s Philanthropy Director, Jennifer Childs, at (807) 343-8899, or jennifer.childs@lakeheadu.ca.