February 8, 2019 10:19 am

Awareness, education, action: Gord Downie’s brothers visit London schools in reconciliation effort

"Secret Path" was the last solo album by Gord Downie focusing on Indigenous rights.


On Feb. 6, Gord Downie would have celebrated his 53rd birthday, and while the musician and activist may no longer be with us, his legacy carries on.

Students across London will participate in educational programming Friday centred around Secret Path, a series of artistic products released by Downie in 2016 inspired by Chanie Wenjack.

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Wenjack was a 12-year-old Indigenous boy who died after escaping a residential school and trying to find his way home.

With the release, Downie called on Canadians to “do something” on the path to reconciliation. With the help of the 2019 Juno Host Committee and the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), local students will be doing just that.

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A number of schools in London have registered to become a DWF Legacy school. The Legacy school program seeks to acknowledge Canada’s past with the next generation and spur acts of reconciliation, officials said.

With an emphasis on music as a tool, students in both local school boards will learn about the history of Canada’s residential school system and will also commit to acts of #reconciliACTION in their community.

According to officials, #reconciliACTIONS are events or actions that use education and awareness to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together in the spirit of reconciliation.

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Downie’s brothers Mike and Patrick will also tour a few schools in the city to do their part in spreading awareness about Indigenous history and culture.

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