THUNDER BAY – Work, perseverance, education and believe, those key four points were at the cornerstone of the keynote address by Ted Nolan to Thunder Bay students on Saturday.
The Maadaadizi orientation for the almost 250 Indigenous students attending both secondary and post secondary school in Thunder Bay is based on the Ojibway word for the beginning of a journey.
This annual event brings together students, local organizations and speakers to help get students off in the right direction on their journey to educational success.
This year, the keynote speaker was Ted Nolan.
Ted Nolan is a former professional hockey NHL hockey player, former head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and Latvia men’s national ice hockey team. This season he is coaching the Polish National Team. Nolan played three seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He also coached for the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, after serving as assistant coach for one season with the Hartford Whalers. On November 13, 2013, the Buffalo Sabres re-hired Nolan as interim head coach; he remained in the Sabres’ head coach position until April 12, 2015.
Ted Nolan’s success in hockey didn’t come easily to him. Nolan fought through poverty growing up on the Garden River reserve, in a small house that had no running hot water or electricity.
Yesterday in Thunder Bay, Ted Nolan took the time to meet, inspire and offer words of encouragement to students of all ages. His message is one that is far more than words, as though his actions, Ted Nolan has put the words into action, followed them and kept striving toward the success he has rightfully earned.
Nolan shared the four principles which have helped guide his life with students yesterday at the orientation for new and returning Indigenous students. Those foundations are work, perseverance, education and belief. Nolan stated that while all are important, believing in yourself is the ultimate one.
“Work can beat skill,” he told the audience. Nolan’s life journey is proof that his path of following those foundation principles has worked for making his journey one he wants to be on.