The Garden River First Nation community beamed with pride this morning as Jordan Nolan, rookie LA Kings centre, brought the Stanley Cup for all to celebrate.
Emceed by Steve Nolan, the festivities began at the Garden River Bingo Hall with addresses from Chief Lyle Sayers, Chief Dean Sayers, and Regional Chief Stan Beardy; a prayer from Barb Nolan as Alan Syrette smudged the Cup; and a Victory Song performed by Bear Creek.
Regrettably, Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Debbie Amaroso was unable to attend the celebration due to a previous commitment, and the City dignitary assigned to attend in her place was a no-show.
Quick on his feet, Steve Nolan offered Jordan congratulations on behalf of the City of Sault Ste. Marie and promised to have a street named after him.
From the Bingo Hall, the huge gathering moved to the Garden River Recreational Centre where Jordan presented the Stanley Cup to the community's youth.
A parade to the Community Centre along Highway 17B followed with a short stop at the landmark Garden River train bridge for photos - a stop that was met with massive applause and loud chants of "Jordan! Jordan!" from the hundreds that lined the route.
At the Community Centre, Chief Lyle Sayers remarked during his presentation that he's never been more proud of a member of his community and the day was a highlight of his career.
Before taking time to pose for pictures with fans and friends, Jordan was presented with a special helmet adorned with his name and #71 as he was named honorary Garden River Fire Chief.
Although the official Jordan Nolan celebration was scheduled to wrap at 1:30 p.m., today's experience will surely fill the members of the Garden River First Nation community with enough pride to last a lifetime.
To view the accompanying gallery of photos, please click here.
Please enjoy the SooToday.com news video below shot and produced by Adam Gualtieri.
The full text of a news release from Garden River First Nation follows.
GARDEN RIVER, ON - Today was a historical moment for Garden River First Nation and all First Nation communities alike!
Jordan Nolan, #71 of the LA Kings brought the Stanley Cup to Garden River and it received an extremely warm welcoming.
Community members and visitors from near and far gathered to get a glimpse of Jordan hoist the Stanley Cup as he presented it to his home community.
The celebration began at the Garden River Bingo Enterprise parking lot where Grammy nominated Traditional Drum Group “Bear Creek” opened the celebration with a Victory Song, from there Jordan presented the cup to the community.
Chief Lyle Sayers and other First Nation dignitaries welcomed all.
“I have to say in all of my years in being on Council with Garden River First Nation, this is the proudest day of my career,” said Chief Lyle Sayers.
Jordan then proceeded over to the Garden River Recreation Centre where he presented the Cup to the youth of Garden River.
Balloons were released into the sky by the youth and the parade then began down Highway 17B.
The highlight of the procession came when Jordan made a special stop at Garden River’s well-known “This Is Indian Land” train bridge where he proudly hoisted the cup while standing in the middle of the bridge and was subsequently joined by is brother Brandon and father Ted.
From there the parade concluded at Garden River’s Community Centre where many of Jordan’s fans awaited to take free photographs with him or purchase a signed autograph with all proceeds going to Garden River’s Little NHL Hockey Teams.
Jordan was also received by Garden River’s local and visiting elders inside of the Community Centre where he presented the Cup and shared a few words.
“I heard about how the community was gathering during the playoffs and I wanted to win the Stanley Cup even more so that I could bring it home to you,” said Jordan Nolan.
It was evident that with all of the young faces present during the celebration that Jordan has made a large impact upon First Nation Youth and his community as a whole.
The pride that was displayed throughout the day signifies that Jordan has created a positive future for all First Nation people across Canada.