Former Indigenous NHL player visits Invermere

·1 min read

Former NHL player Jason Simon was at Copper Point Resort in Invermere on Monday May 16, where he spoke to the entire community, including elders and youth, whom he motivated through his past life experience.

The event began at 5 p.m. and was hosted by the Shuswap Band. “We had 25 to 30 people per session where our youth and elders attended,” says Kelsey Moir, Shuswap Band Community Liaison Worker, adding that, “This was a free event for everyone.”

Simon is from southwestern Ontario and is a member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Simon is best known for playing for the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes from 1994-1996. He spent the rest of his career (which lasted until 2009) in a myriad of minor leagues. While it’s been over a decade since he donned a uniform and skates on the ice, Simon certainly still gets cheers and praise for his motivational speaking.

Off the ice Simon has found a new passion. Motivating the youth, and children of today whether it be to Indigenous or non-Indigenous communities and audiences. Simon shares his own struggles and successes from his past in hopes to motivate others. Topics Simon speaks of is the importance of mental and physical well-being and his own past struggles with substance abuse.

Before leaving our community, Simon spoke to the students at J.A. Laird Elementary school at 11 a.m. on the following Wednesday. What a blessing to have a former NHL hero, and a current one to our children and youth of today motivate the masses through his triumphs.

Chadd Cawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer

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