The Tragically Hip, Indigenous activist Sylvia Maracle to receive Order of Canada
Special presentation of Canadian honours on Monday will recognize 30 for outstanding Indigenous leadership
Gov. Gen. David Johnston has announced that the five members of the Tragically Hip and Indigenous advocate Sylvia Maracle are to be the latest recipients of the Order of Canada.
Hip lead singer Gord Downie and Maracle will receive their insignia on Monday as part of a special presentation of Canadian honours recognizing outstanding Indigenous leadership, a statement from Rideau Hall said.
Maracle, a Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory east of Toronto, is being honoured "for her leadership in shaping the urban Indigenous experience and for her efforts to promote the well-being of Indigenous peoples across Canada."
In a statement released by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, which she has helped lead for 40 years, Maracle called her appointment "a true honour."
"My hope is that this award continues to keep the issues of urban Indigenous people at the forefront of our national dialogue. There is still so much work to do," she said in the release.
The other members of the Tragically Hip — Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gord Sinclair — will be invested at a later date, Rideau Hall said. All five band members are being honoured for "their contribution to Canadian music and for their support of various social and environmental causes."
The Hip performed a cross-Canada tour last summer following news that Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The tour culminated in a concert in their hometown of Kingston, Ont., that was broadcast by CBC across the country.
Downie later released Secret Path, a musical project that told the story of Chanie (Charlie) Wenjack, an Ojibwe First Nations boy who died in 1966 after trying to walk home from a residential school in Northern Ontario.
The band tweeted out its gratitude Thursday at being appointed to the order, which is marking its 50th anniversary as one of the country's highest civilian honours.
We are honoured to be receiving the Order of Canada. Thank you to everyone for their support.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OrderOfCanada?src=hash">#OrderOfCanada</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/RideauHall">@RideauHall</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GGDavidJohnston">@GGDavidJohnston</a> <a href="https://t.co/5NkzqGNRST">pic.twitter.com/5NkzqGNRST</a>—@thehipdotcom
Indigenous leadership honoured
Monday's ceremony will honour 30 people in all, who will receive the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division), the Polar Medal or the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers.
Storyteller Jacqueline Guest of Bragg Creek, Alta., will receive the Order of Canada along with Downie and Maracle.
Wilton Littlechild, Senator Murray Sinclair and Marie Wilson, who served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, are among the Meritorious Service Cross recipients. Others include Indigenous artists, athletes and community activists.
Meritorious Service Decorations are given in two divisions, military and civil, to celebrate Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed. The Polar Medal recognizes extraordinary service to Canada's polar regions and the North. The Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers is a recent Canadian honour to recognize individuals who have brought benefit or honour to Canada.
The Governor General, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other dignitaries will attend Monday's event at Rideau Hall.
A full list of recipients of Monday's honours can be seen here or in the document below: