The Tragically Hip frontman, Gord Downie, paid a visit to Parliament Hill on Sunday for it’s We Day celebrations.
While making a rare appearance, Downie spoke out about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, explaining that young students still must travel great distances to go to school after shutting down all residential schools.
He then asked the young crowd to learn about the history of church-run residential schools, where children suffered through physical and emotional abuse, a topic close to Downie’s heart as he released “Secret Path”, an album & animated film that tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a residential school escapee.
Since being diagnosed with a incurable form of brain cancer, Downie has made very few public appearances. But as Canada celebrates it 150th birthday, the musician made the rare exception.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the stage after Downie to thank him, and told the audience that young people are the future, as they are the key to building Canada in trust, openness and love.