The Secret Path, Gord Downie’s tribute to Chanie (Charlie) Wenjack has become the Tragically Hip’s front man’s most important and most powerful work of his lifetime.
Downie who is living with incurable brain cancer, has been shedding light on the disconnect between the rest of Canada and the plight of our aboriginal residents and their descendants through telling the story of Charlie. A boy who tried to escape Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ont., by attempting to walk home some 600 km along railway tracks and ultimately froze to death in the process.
Gord Downie has brought national attention to the story to of Charlie’s life through Charlie’s sister together with a book being produced, a 10 track-album, and an animated film with help from illustrator Jeff Lemire which was broadcast last night on the CBC.
Ultimately, Downie’s mission is to look forward to the next 150 years in how Canada’s relationship with their indigenous people can improve, and that reconciliation might actually happen.
Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation through The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. Downie hopes to raise 100 million dollars through the fund.