Even terminal brain cancer can’t stop Gord Downie from doing what he is passionate about.
The Tragically Hip frontman is set to release a new solo album title “Secret Path” this Tuesday that tells the story of a 12-year-old First Nations boy who was killed after running away from a residential school in Ontario in 1966.
He has been a long time supporter of First Nation peoples in Canada, using his platform to bring forth issues and inspire change including calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to address Canada’s historical mistreatment of Indigenous people during his televised concert in Kingston last August.
Youth Outreach Coordinator at Indigenous Services at Western, Amanda Myers says she hopes his newest project will inspire people to learn more about Canada’s past.
“The information has always been there, but when you have it in a more pop culture framework then it creates a different level of accessibility that’s not just housed within academia.”
The subject hits close to home for Donika Stonefish. She says the stories from residential schools don’t just live in the past, there is a ripple effect that continues on to today.
“My grandmother went to a residential school and then my father was a 60s scoop kid. Even after residential school they would take away kids from parents because they were deemed as unfit when they were fine, so my dad got taken away.”
Stonefish says that the repercussions have lead to substance abuse and trouble with the law, and steps need to be taken to continue to see a change.
Gord Downie will be performing songs from “Secret Path” at WE Day in Toronto.