Gord Downie's 'Secret Path' Could Become Part of Canada's Elementary School Curriculum
Published Nov 02, 2016Last month, Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie brought new light to the story of Chanie Wenjack and Canada's history of residential schools with Secret Path, a series of poems that were adapted into an album, graphic novel and animated special. In furthering Downie's call to Canadians to think harder about reconciliation, educators across Canada are now looking to incorporate the work into their curriculum.
Last month, 33 educators from each province and territory met with Gord Downie's brother Mike, illustrator Jeff Lemire and the Wenjack family in Ottawa on October 17 and 18 to develop a strategy to incorporate the work into lesson plans.
"We were contacted saying Gord Downie wants to take this on, and he has offered to take us all up to Ottawa to work on developing a resource around Secret Path and ways that we can take this resource and put it into our classrooms," Prince Edward Island department of education member Geoff MacDonald told CBC News. "It is one of the richest resources that I have seen in relation to this."
In P.E.I., the department has been creating the curriculum alongside teachers and the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I., with the expectation that it will be used in classrooms starting this September.
Secret Path is out now through Arts & Crafts. Proceeds of record sales will go to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which is dedicated to educating Canadians about the history of residential schools and moving towards a future of reconciliation.