An emotional Gord Downie was honoured Tuesday afternoon at the AFN special assembly.
Downie’s Secret Path project tells the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 trying to escape from a residential school near Kenora, Ont.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde presented the visibly emotional Downie with an eagle feather — a gift from the creator above — and he was given an Indigenous spirit name, which can be roughly translated as “Man who walks among the stars.”
An emotional Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watched as Downie was showered with song, and wrapped in a “star blanket” created by the Dakota people.
After receiving the blanket, Downie addressed the crowd and urged Canada to “walk down a path of reconciliation from now on”
Chiefs from across the country brought presents to Downie, but were asked to not present them to him personally as his health has deteriorated considerably as he battles brain cancer.
(Photo/Video Courtesy of the CBC)