On Monday, April 24, Nolan will spend a full day at the U of S, serving as the keynote speaker in a morning forum with university senior administration and Indigenous leaders from across the province. He will also meet with students and staff in Huskie Athletics and the College of Kinesiology about Aboriginal athlete development, and later with the Human Resources department and the U of S Aboriginal Advisors Circle.
Nolan will cap his day on campus with a Speaker’s Forum address that is open to everyone in the evening at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre, followed by an autograph and photograph session.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the wider campus community, to engage with one of the most inspirational and successful leaders in the Aboriginal and hockey community,” said Peter Stoicheff, U of S president and vice-chancellor. “We are honoured to have the chance to hear from Mr. Nolan as we continue to strengthen relationships with our Indigenous partners and build upon our commitment to making the university the best place it can possibly be for Aboriginal peoples and their communities.”
A member of Ontario’s Garden River First Nation, Nolan is a leader in the Indigenous community and a well-known sports figure whose hockey history has spanned 40 years from player to coach. A former professional hockey player, Nolan later moved on to the coaching ranks and won the 1997 Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach of the year with the Buffalo Sabres, and later guided Latvia to the country’s best-ever finish at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The 58-year-old Nolan is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal youth, regularly hosts hockey skills and development camps for youngsters and supports Indigenous students across the country through the Ted Nolan foundation, which has awarded 121 post-secondary scholarships—including to U of S students—totalling more than $300,000. Through his foundation and the Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation, Nolan has helped send more than 500 Aboriginal youth to leadership camps.
“I am grateful for the opportunities that hockey has provided me in my life, but most importantly the opportunity to serve as a role model to help inspire Indigenous people across the country,” said Nolan, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from Laurentian University in 2002 and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now named the Indspire Awards) in 1994. “We have so much more that we can accomplish as communities and we need to take pride and draw strength in our history and heritage as we build for the future.”