Secret Path Week Presents: Walk For Wenjack

Posted 3 years ago by Toronto Charities / 86 views

For over 150 years, residential schools operated in Canada. Over 150,000 children attended these schools. Many never returned. Often underfunded and overcrowded, these schools were used as a tool of assimilation by the Canadian state and churches. A very cruel experiment. Thousands of students suffered physical, mental, and sexual abuse. All suffered from loneliness and a longing to be home with their families. The damages inflicted by these schools continue to this day.

One of those students was Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, and we have been especially moved by his story. Chanie was born January 19, 1954. He died October 22, 1966, near Redditt, ON. An Anishinaabe boy, at age 12 he ran away from his residential school and subsequently died from hunger and exposure to the weather. All Chanie wanted was to go home, which was over 600 km away in Ogoki Post on the Marten Falls First Nation. His death sparked national attention and the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools.

Inspired by the “Secret Path” story and Gord Downie’s humility, sincerity, and determination to tell the story of all youths from the residential school era who never made it home, let’s come together and participate in a spiritual journey called #walkforwenjack in Toronto, ON. The Walk For Wenjack first set out on Nov 20-21, 2016 and retraced the steps of Chanie Wenjack. It started at the Cecillia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, ON, and continued to Redditt, ON for a ceremony representing Chanie’s final resting spot near Farlane, ON.

Secret Path Week is Oct 17-22, 2018 – a national movement commemorating the legacies of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack. The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund would like to inspire Legacy Schools, Legacy Space partners, and all Canadians to use this week to answer Gord Downie’s call to action to “do something”

In partnership with Evergreen Brick Works, please join us on Oct 21st on the land of the Mississaaugas of the New Credit (Toronto).

Participate in a spiritual walk on the Don Valley Trail system.

Watch the new concert film and documentary called “Finding The Secret Path,” by Mike Downie and the documentary, “The Weight of Your Heart: A Walk With Chanie Wenjack,” by Joel Clements.

Gather on the grounds of the Evergreen Brick Works and meet new Indigenous and non-Indigenous friends.

Explore the Indigenous craft market.

Enjoy various raffle prizes including Gord Downie prints from photographer Richard Beland, an iconic “Secret Path” inspired Hat by Karyn Ruiz of Lilliput Hats and wood-crafted art by Edward Piva of Rustic Vibe and much more…

and meet some VERY special guests.

Please note, the registration fee (donation) is for adults 18 and over. We encourage all children and youth (accompanied by a legal guardian) to join and participate on this special day at no charge.

All proceeds support The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. Details at

#WalkForWenjack #SecretPathWeek #ReconciliACTION and #DoSomething


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