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Letter from Gino Odjick

Posted: June 27, 2014

Gino Odjick photo, courtesy Peter LeechGino Odjick is one of Vancouver's favourite hockey players of all time. He has also devoted much of his life to making sure that First Nations people—especially childrenhave every opportunity to be successful. In We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us, journalist Katherine Palmer Gordon shares the story of Odjick's life, and his work with First Nations kids:

"Three decades after his own childhood battles with racism, Gino is saddened by the fact that First Nations children in Canada still face such struggles. But he wants to turn that challenge into opportunity for the kids he works with and to help them succeed in their goals and dreams...

"He suggests they each read a good book, and tells them how important reading has been in his life. He also tells them to never forget the importance of their cultural heritage. 'It's everything, right? The spirits never lied to me about which direction to go, and how to proceedto always see the best in people all of the time. You get what you see out of people. I tell the kids, just live with a good heart and a good mind, and just do the best that you can every day. When you live your life that way, even if you lose your discipline a little bit and stray from the Red Path a little, you will always come back. You will learn. You'll have a good life.'"

On June 26, the Vancouver Canucks released a moving letter from Odjick, who shared the sad news that he has been diagnosed with a rare terminal disease called AL amyloidosis. We would like to invite you to read this letter here:

Gino Odjick's life story will always remain a huge source of inspiration.

photo: Courtesy Peter Leech