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Indigenous Education
Downie-Wenjack Legacy Schools

​​​​"The DWF Legacy Schools program is an opportunity for classrooms/schools to lead the movement in awareness of the history and impact of the Residential School System on Indigenous Peoples. Educators will use a Legacy Schools Toolkit and educational support resources to engage students, staff and the school community, and as the catalyst for their commitment to the work of reconciliation.​"  Read and Learn more.​

Background info on the Downie-Wenjack Fund

​The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) is part of Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment, and that of both the Downie and Wenjack families, to call Canadians to learning and action in solidarity with Indigenous peoples of this land. The goal of the fund is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story, and to support the reconciliation process through awareness, education, and action. Information from:

Learning Resources

DWF home page.png

The Downie-Wenjack website is full of background information and learning resources to use in your classroom. 

Legacy Schools Toolkit: When you are registered as a Legacy School - you will receive a purple box with materials, one of  which is a USB (Toolkit)  with many resources divided into age categories for your classroom use to "introduce the topic of residential schools and Canada's history as it relates to Indigenous Peoples.  the Secret Path along with the resources in the Toolkit (USB) to further educate students to build empathy and create deeper understanding."  (Legacy Schools and ReconiliACTIONS Guide 2018-2019, p. 3,4)

Secret Path Learning Resources: ​

"Secret Path has had a tremendous impact on Canadians in learning more about the history of Residential Schools and the treatment of Indigenous people....Explore the resources featured here that have been shared for you to use in your classrooms and communities and to inspire you to create and share lessons from your territory​"  Excerpt from Downie-Wenjackwebsite. 

Pilot Programs

Some example or projects from schools piloting the project: 


Secret Path Book.pngSecret Path​

SD71 indignous Educations has compiled helpful resources and videos for teachers around this graphic novel by ​Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire to highlight the story of Chanie Wenjack, a boy who attempted an escape from Residential School​.  Lessons for all grades. Please use with discretion at early years.  We suggest this book to be studied in depth at later grades and with support from teachers. ​