Secret Path Week 2019
Tomorrow marks the start of Secret Path Week. This event runs annually from October 17 – 22, the dates Gord Downie (October 17) and Chanie Wenjack (October 22) passed.
Secret Path Week Events
The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund call on all Canadians to step up, take action and “do something” to further reconciliation. Many events take place across Canada, including the Walk for Wenjack, Secret Path Live, and That Night On The Prairies 2. Consult the calendar of events to see what is happening in your area.
You can also plan your own reconciliACTION. A reconciliACTION is an event or activity aiming to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples together in the spirit of reconciliation. It raises awareness and fosters sharing and learning. Many schools plan reconciliACTIONS as catalysts for important conversations.
Secret Path Resources
If your class can’t participate in a local Walk for Wenjack, you can always complete the Finding a Secret Path Mapping Activity. This free activity sheet is part of the Indigenous Languages and Secret Path resource kit. We created it for use with high school learners. The kit positions Chanie Wenjack’s story as an opportunity to explore Indigenous languages and how they relate to Indigenous rights on a local, regional, national, and global scale. It helps develop literacy, research, communication, and empathy skills. Learners learn about various Indigenous languages and revitalization efforts. Then, they share their learning with others in their communities.
As part of the mapping activity, learners will reflect on what they read in Secret Path and how Chanie Wenjack had difficulty reading the English map he took on his escape from the residential school in Kenora, ON. How do you think Chanie felt? Learners can complete their own mapping activity in class. Learners reflect and discuss how language and language loss affect finding our place in the world.
We also created a resource kit for middle school learners around Storytelling and Secret Path. It guides learners through different forms of storytelling to express themselves and honour stories like Chanie Wenjack’s.
How are you marking Secret Path Week in your school? Let us know what activities you have planned.