OTTAWA- Indigenous leaders are praising Gord Downie’s contribution to reconciliation as they mourn his death.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says he knew Downie’s death was coming but he says it is still incredibly sad to know he is no longer alive.
Fiddler says in addition to the music he produced over the years, Downie will be remembered for his advocacy for Indigenous communities in the North and notably his project “Secret Path”.
That solo project honoured 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 after running away from a residential school near Kenora, Ont.
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett calls Downie’s death an “incredible loss to Canada” and she is thanking him for the role he played in reconciliation.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde calls Downie “an ally and friend” and refers to him as the man who “Walks Among the Stars’,’ a name given to the singer in late 2016 at a gathering of chiefs in Gatineau, Que.