Gord Downie Was Celebrated For Championing Indigenous Rights. Now That He’s Gone, Do People Still Care?‘Activism is not about embracing a famous person who makes an album about a situation. It’s about facing hard truths that may make you feel uncomfortable.’by Candy Palmater Updated Dec 4, 2017Gord Downie receives the Order of Canada from Governor General David Johnston in Ottawa on Monday, June 19, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldI am a huge Tragically Hip fan. I have been ever since my friend Sheila put their self-titled EP cassette into the Pioneer stereo of my car back in 1989. Since then, I’ve seen them live more times than I can count. I shared the country’s grief when we found out about Gord Downie’s cancer diagnosis, and I was profoundly sad when he died a few of weeks ago.This, however, is not an article about the Tragically Hip or about what Gord Downie the musician meant to Canada. This is an article about the way Canadians have responded to Gord’s final project, Secret Path.To be completely honest, when I first heard that Gord was releasing an album about Chanie Wenjack, who died at age 12 while trying to escape residential school, I had mixed feelings. I was glad he was thinking about these things and wanted to make a difference, and I was thrilled that he was bringing the story to thepublic. I also thought it was probably very cathartic for the Wenjack family to havethe story of their brother embraced by such a famous Canadian. But I wasn’t sure itwas Gord’s story to tell. And I predicted, correctly, that Canadians would pay moreattention to the story coming from Gord than they did when Indigenous author Lee Maracle wrote about it years earlier.