It’s been two years since The Tragically Hip’s lead singer and lyricist Gord Downie passed away. One of the many legacies Downie left behind is his story of The Secret Path, a collection of 10 poems inspired by the life of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who was abused in one of our country’s residential schools. Downie has turned Chanie’s story into a national movement to raise awareness about the mistreatment of Indigenous people, and the path for reconciliation.
Secret Path Week is a national movement commemorating the legacies of Downie and Wenjack, and takes place annually from October 17th – 22nd. Downie launched his “Secret Path” project in October 2016 after revealing he has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The goal of Secret Path Week to create a national platform to have safe conversations, learn more about Indigenous culture and create awareness about the true history regarding residential schools.. The initiative includes educational events, Walk for Wenjack, and tributes to both Downie and Wenjack. The week is also highlighted by a benefit concert at Toronto’s Roy Thomson hall, which will raise money to support programming at the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.
Watch in the video clip above as The Tragically Hip’s Johnny Fray and Audra Santa from The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund tell us more about the initiative.