The lead singer of the Tragically Hip and advocate for First Nations people, was recognized at a special gathering of the Assembly of First Nation’s for his work highlighting the victims of residential schools.
(Margo McDiarmid / CBC News)
A visibly shaken Gord Downie, who’s battling terminal brain cancer, was presented with an eagle feather and was given an indigenous spirit name that, roughly translated means, ”Man who walks among the stars.”
He was also wrapped in a ‘star blanked’ made by the Dakota people and then shared these words about Canada’s upcoming sesquicentennial.
”It will take 150 years or seven generations to heal the wound of the residential school. To become a country, that can truly call ourselves Canada, it means we must become one, we must walk down a path of reconciliation for now on. Together, and forever. This is the first day of forever, the greatest day of my life, the greatest day of all our lives.”
Downie’s most recent work, ‘Secret Path,’ tells the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 trying to escape from a residential school near Kenora.
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