On Friday, Oct. 25 Mike Downie will be at the Alberni District Secondary School to talk about the creation of Gord Downie’s Secret Path, and the Path to Reconciliation.
Fifty-three years later, the story of the death of young Chanie Wenjack is still being shared across Canada.
Twelve-year-old Wenjack ran away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, where he had been a student for three years. He had been walking along the Canadian National Railway for just over a day and a half when he succumbed to the freezing temperatures and hunger in late October 1966.
His death brought light to the abuse and mistreatment of the Indigenous children at residential schools, and today the story is being shared as a symbol of resistance against the residential school system.
In 2016, fifty years after the death of Wenjack, Gord Downie, lead singer for Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, with the help of his brother Mike, vowed to find a way to share Wenjack’s story with the world. Together, they built the multimedia project the Secret Path, a music album, graphic novel, and television film about the story of Chanie Wenjack.
After Gord’s death in 2017, Mike Downie still shares the story of the Secret Path. He travels across Canada as a celebrated storyteller and documentarist, bringing awareness to what really happened in residential schools, and how generations were impacted.
On October 25th, Mike Downie will be at Alberni District Secondary School presenting the Path to Reconciliation, and the creation of the Secret Path. Event starts at 7pm, and entry is by donation (suggest minimum $10). Pick up tickets at ADSS or the SD70 board office.