Nakoda Elementary School students in southern Albert put on a musical inspired by the late, great Gord Downie.
The First Nations school produced a show called The Journey of Wicapi Omani — The Man Who Walks Among The Stars on Thursday based on Gord Downie’s Lakota spirit name.
The show was performed for the school children’s parents and depicted Downie’s advocacy for First Nations people.
“The play is about a boy named Wicapi Omani and how he travels through his journey of life trying to accomplish a destiny the creator had given him, which was to spread acceptance peace and unity throughout the world,” said music teacher Drew Van Allen told CBC.
“It couldn’t have happened if the kids weren’t sold on it,” he continued. “They appreciated what he stood for and what he tried to do for First Nations people… I think they really appreciated the attention he drew to kids like them.”
Wicapi Omani is the name Downie was honoured with in Dec. 2016 by the Assembly of First Nations.
One student, Ocean Dixon, spoke about the musical and The Tragically Hip frontman’s influence. “He put a lot of his energy into his songs and he just wanted everyone to be nice,” she said. “It’s good to remember him.”
The story touched Downie’s brother Patrick, who reached out to the music teacher by email: “It’s really special to know this story has made it all the way to the Downie family. We couldn’t ask for anything more. We’re touched.”
Downie died of brain cancer on Oct. 17, 2017, at the age of 53.