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Reflecting on Secret Path Week 2022
November 1, 2022
After another successful Secret Path Week, we would like to thank all of those who joined us in honouring Chanie and Gord’s legacy by participating in a Walk for Wenjack, joining us for DWF LIVE, and taking reconciliACTION by learning about the history and ongoing impact of residential schools. After such a busy week, there is plenty to reflect on. Check out our recap of Secret Path Week 2022 as well as an update from our Legacy Spaces program below!
Secret Path Week 2022
Chanie Wenjack’s sister, Evelyn Baxter, recently travelled to Toronto and was able to visit Union Station for a viewing of the Secret Path Exhibition. From now until November 24, we invite you to stop by the station’s West Wing to explore their public installation of Secret Path artwork and photographs. Evelyn is seen here with a photo of her big sister Pearl Achneepineskum and Gord Downie.
Secret Path Week is a national movement that commemorates the legacies of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack, which takes place annually from October 17-22— the days that Gord and Chanie respectively joined the spirit world. We are so grateful to everyone who joined us in taking reconciliACTION to move reconciliation forward!
As part of Secret Path Week, DWF hosted 14 special DWF LIVE events for a week of interactive learning. Legacy Schools heard from leading Indigenous artists, singers, authors, filmmakers, legal experts, and more, and we even had classes join our streams so students could engage directly with the speakers and share their thoughts with the general audience.
In case you missed it, you can watch all the Secret Path Week DWF LIVE sessions here.
We have more DWF LIVE events coming up, so stay tuned for more information!
We received many reconciliACTIONs throughout Secret Path Week, here’s a look at a few that were sent in! If you took part in a reconciliACTION, don’t forget to tell us about it! You can submit it here.
Girl Guides Quebec ran a “Do Something” Challenge. Members, ages 9 through 17, came up with reconciliACTIONs they could take throughout October. In groups, they co-signed great ideas that they endorsed on large posters and came up with their own initiatives. Some of their great ideas included reading Secret Path and works of Indigenous authors, planning meetings to explore the impact of residential schools, and becoming better informed on issues affecting Indigenous communities.
On October 20, the Junior and Middle School at Albert College in Belleville, ON participated in a #WalkforWenjack, walking a total of 350 km while wearing purple to support DWF. Students also brought in money to donate to DWF and in total, $784 was raised! The Senior School joined the Walk for Wenjack challenge and logged 762 km in total, exceeding their goal of 600 km!
The Indigenous studies class (grades 10/11/12) at Salisbury Composite High School in Sherwood Park, AB participated in Secret Path Week by reading about Chanie’s story, learning the true history of residential schools, and sharing what they learned with friends, family, and community. In addition to completing a Walk for Wenjack, they also learned how to one-needle bead and have been working on beading DWF buttons!
On October 17, the first day of Secret Path Week, our Legacy Spaces partner Union Station unveiled the Secret Path Exhibition. The installation tells the story of Chanie Wenjack’s residential school experience and features exclusive photos of his family and Gord Downie. We invite you to experience this free exhibit for yourself by visiting the Union Station West Wing and Oak Room (just right of the Front Street entrance in downtown Toronto, Ontario) between now and November 24. (Photo by Spring Morris)
The Steam Whistle Legacy Space features photo and video installations to educate visitors on DWF and Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story. Thank you to Steam Whistle Brewing for treating DWF staff to a tour of their operations and supporting our team events during Secret Path Week! We got an exclusive look at their new Legacy Space inside the Roundhouse in downtown Toronto, ON. Steam Whistle is in the process of rebuilding their renowned tour program and will soon be able to share their Legacy Space with the public!
Walk for Wenjack Updates
We are excited to share that Walk for Wenjack has raised more than $105,000 to support DWF’s programs, campaigns, and events! So far, 35,000 km have been walked throughout Canada in honour of Chanie by schools, organizations, and individuals with over 20,000 participants.
ReconciliACTION can take place any time of the year! Learn how you can organize a Walk for Wenjack with your school, friends, family, and community by clicking the button below.
Legacy Spaces Updates
Over the past few months, we have celebrated the launch of ten new Legacy Spaces with our partners. There are now 44 unique Legacy Spaces in 34 different cities, with more to come! From the first Legacy Spaces in Markham, ON, Quebec, and a manufacturing setting, to a performing arts centre, and offices throughout southern Ontario, DWF was proud to join these partners in launching their spaces. You can read about each unique space by clicking below.
Welcome to our latest Legacy Spaces partners: