A Brief One from Doug Draper
Posted December 7th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
He was honoured at an Assembly of First Nations gathering in Quebec this December 7th as the “man who walks among the stars.”
Gord Downie, the frontman of the iconic Canadian rock band Tragically Hip, wiped tears from his eyes as members of the Assembly paid tribute to him for his part in drawing awareness to the suffering inflicted on indigenous people victimized by residential school and for raising his voice for truth and reconciliation.
Forget about Trump being named Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2016. One of the people who deserves to be honoured as one of this year’s heroes is Gord Downie, who was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer early in this year, then took the band out of what may very well be a farewell, cross-country tour.
And then, in some of the closingl moments of the tour’s final show in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario, with at least 12 million people watching around the world on a livestream, instead of talking about his own difficult journey, he used the venue to speak out to Canada’s prime minister and the whole country about the need to heal the wounds from hundreds of years of injustice suffered by First Nations peoples.
Then there was what hopefully will not go done as a final encore.
Earlier this fall, Gord Downie produced and performed the music for a project called ‘Secret Path’, about a young aboriginal boy Chanie Wenjack, who 50 years ago this fall, succumbed to cold and hunger trying to walk hundreds of miles back home from a residential school.
If you haven’t purchased the book and vinyl discs for the Secret Path project yet, you can still get that or purchase the music on a CD called ‘Secret Path’, released across Canada and the United States this past December 2nd. Last I checked it was available at HMV Records at the Pen Centre shopping mall in St. Catharines/Niagara for $12.99 and I am I’m sure you can get it at Record Theatre in Buffalo, New York too. Proceeds from sales of Secret Path go to Canada’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba that you can find out more about online at .nctr.ca .
So forget about Times’ Person of the Year. There is still time for Canada’s Maclean’s magazine to name Gord Downie, who has also devoted many years to raising awareness about environmental causes, a Person of the Year at least one of the great heroes of 2016 here.
Watch Gord Downie being honoured at the December 6th, 2016 Assaembly of Frist Nations gathering –
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