THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and First Nation leaders honoured Canadian musician Gord Downie for his efforts to move Canadians closer to reconciliation during the Assembly of First Nations national assembly today.
“Gord has taken the country by storm with his heartfelt call to action, and I am touched by his compassion and commitment to foster understanding and create awareness that will guide us along the path to reconciliation,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “I am deeply moved by Gord’s personal journey and his work with the family of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack to bring the tragic history of the Indian Residential School system to a national audience and I thank them for their efforts. I share their hope that all Canadians will be inspired to learn more about this dark chapter of our shared history and embrace Chanie’s story as their own.”
October 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of 12-year-old Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, who died on October 22, 1966 after fleeing Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in northwestern Ontario. Travelling on foot in an attempt to make the 1,000-kilometre journey home to Ogoki Post, his body was found on October 23 along railroad tracks approximately 60 kilometres from the school near Kenora, Ontario.
Launched in September, “Secret Path” is a multimedia project by Gord Downie including an album, graphic novel and animated film depicting Chanie’s short life.
The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund was established with the family of Chanie Wenjack as a catalyst to jumpstart reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.
For more information please visit: www.secretpath.ca