Fred Sasakamoose speaks in Prince Albert on Sept. 30, 2020. (Lisa Risom/CTV Prince Albert)

Former NHL hockey player Fred Sasakamoose addressed a crowd of participants at Prince Albert Grand Council’s Orange Shirt Day Awareness Walk on Wednesday.

Sasakamoose touched on his personal experiences at residential school and encouraged people to think about the positives in their lives today.

“It's hard to tell people about residential schools, I look at the good things in my life and a lot of the bad things that I carried over the years,” said Sasakamoose.

Sasakamoose is from Big River First Nation and lives on Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation. At 85-years-old he says it’s a privilege to speak about the past.

He says he found comfort in sharing his experience with his peers like Gordon Keewatin. Kewatin is 77-years-old and works as an Elder and cultural support worker for Prince Albert Grand Council.

“I’m thankful for what I’ve accomplished in my lifetime and that’s why I’m working here now,” said Keewatin. “I help a lot of survivors and different people that are involved in apprehension programs.”

Keewatin says he’s counselled others and listened to their stories about residential schools.

“Today, I still hang onto a lot of memories that aren't too good for me but I manage to try and help other survivors,” said Keewatin.

Since retiring, Sasakamoose has spoken at countless engagements and uses his life story to encourage others to stay on a good path.

He says he feels fortunate to be able to share his story.