St. Joseph’s students Walk for Wenjack as part of the Legacy School program

On Friday, October 21st, the students at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Port Elgin (Saugeen Shores) learned about and walked in memory of residential school victim Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 while running away.  The school is part of the Legacy School program.








Chanie Wenjack was an Anishinaabe boy from Ontario who ran away from his residential school near Kenora at the age 12 and subsequently died from hunger and exposure to the harsh winter weather after walking some 36 hours. His death in 1966 sparked national attention and the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools.

October 17th – 22nd is known as Secret Path Week and is a national movement commemorating the legacies of musician Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack. Downie began Secret Path as ten poems inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack which then became the ten songs of the Secret Path album.

“Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Our goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.”

After learning about Chanie Wenjack and Gord Downie, the younger students walked ten laps of the school outdoor track while the grades seven and eight students walked through town before returning to the school.

                        Students of St. Joseph’s Catholic School – For larger view, Click on Image                           
                           Students and teacher, Richard Kennedy, walked for Wenjack
                                                              For larger view, Click on Image