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NHL star Jordin Tootoo to address Indigenous leaders in Prince George

Tootoo will be a keynote speaker at the Healthcare Workers Addictions Forum
Jordin Tootoo played 13 seasons in the NHL with the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks.

For the next three days, 200 Indigenous leaders and health workers will be gathering to hear about the impact of the toxic drug crisis on communities in the Northern Region.

The Indigenous Leaders and Healthcare Workers Addictions Forum hosted by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is taking place at the Prince George Civic Centre from March 21 to 23.

Topics of discussion will include stigma, traditional healing approaches, treatment options and best practices.

"We have gathered here to work together to find solutions. Addictions are hitting every family but our ancestors left us the tools for healing ourselves and our communities," said Julie Morrison, Vice-President Regional Operations, FNHA Northern Region.

Highlights include a visit from Inuit NHL star Jordin Tootoo who will talk about his experience struggling to get clean.

Tootoo played in the NHL from 2003 to 2017, announcing his retirement in 2018 to focus on giving back to the Indigenous community.

He started the Team Tootoo Foundation which was inspired by the suicide of his older brother Terence in 2002, and focuses on raising awareness for suicide prevention and anti-bullying programs for youths at risk.

The forum will also feature Dr. Gabor Maté who is a renowned addictions expert known for his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, as well as Cree comedian Don Burnstick.

Traditional healers will be offering complimentary sessions during the event.