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RCMP Partners With NHL's Jordin Tootoo for Public Service Announcement

Jordin Tootoo with a group of children in an Alberta arena

Jordin Tootoo is at his best as he passes the puck back and forth to a group of children in an Alberta arena. He is happy, healthy, and doing what he loves, as his new wife and a group of adoring fans watch on.

Just a few years ago, Tootoo was a very different man.

A young hockey player from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut who made the big leagues, he was unsure of how to handle the pressure, money and fame. Then, after the suicide of his beloved brother, he spiraled ever deeper into alcoholism.

Tootoo's new book, “All the Way: My Life on Ice,” is a raw, hard-hitting account of his struggles. “When you lose someone that important to you and you don't understand why, it's pretty tough to get over. I used alcohol and women to try and fill that void.”

Sober for over four years now, Tootoo knows his story could have had a very different ending, and uses much of his time off the ice to help and educate others. Last week, the RCMP met up with the New Jersey Devil in Fort McKay, First Nation for the production of a public service announcement on the topic of violence against Aboriginal women. The first Inuk player in the NHL, Tootoo speaks directly to men and boys, urging them to break the cycle of domestic violence.

The issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls is one of great concern for the RCMP. An Operational Overview completed by the RCMP last year confirmed that Aboriginal women in Canada face a higher risk of violence and homicide. In collaboration with a variety of partners, the health and safety of Aboriginal girls and women has become a priority for the Force.

“This is such a crucial issue for us,” says RCMP Supt. Tyler Bates of Contract and Aboriginal Policing. “Jordin's message of hope in the face of adversity reinforces that in spite of unimaginable tragedy and loss, one can emerge with strength and resilience, inspiring others to overcome.”

The RCMP's public service announcement featuring Jordin Tootoo is set for release this fall.