The Secret Path

Secret Path is a digital album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by Jeff Lemire that tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School over fifty years ago.

  • Author: The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund
  • Themes: Reconciliation
  • Division: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
  • Available in: English
The Secret Path logo

Gord Downie began Secret Path as 10 poems incited by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died over fifty years ago on Oct. 22, 1966, while attempting to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ont. Complimenting this work, Jeff Lemire created an 88-page graphic novel (published in hard copy with accompanying album download, by Simon & Schuster Canada). The free resource now includes a full feature documentary and a video graphic novel with accompanying music. The Secret Path’s resources can be used to start conversations toward understanding of residential schooling of Indigenous peoples in Canada, the many forms of resistance that Indigenous children exercised against residential schools and how to imagine and enact reconciliation. Included here are two organizations that have created learning resources around Secret Path: Learning Bird and OISE Deepening Knowledge.

The Secret Path’s resources can be used to start conversations toward understanding residential schooling in Canada, the many forms of resistance that Indigenous children exercised against residential schools and how to imagine and enact reconciliation. Included here are two organizations that have created learning resources around Secret Path: Learning Bird and OISE Deepening Knowledge.

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