Staff and students at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Elementary School have committed to improving the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education and connections between all people in Canada.
These efforts have recognized Sacred Heart as a Legacy School through the Downie and Wenjack Fund.
The creation of the Downie and Wenjack Fund and the Legacy Schools Program was the wish of Gord Downie, late singer of the Tragically Hip. Downie dedicated his legacy to creating positive change in Canada, urging Canadians to look at the state of Indigenous-settler relations in the country.
His inspiration was the story of Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy who at the age 12, after three years of abuses in a Residential School, ran away attempting to reunite with his family. Chanie's body was discovered near railway tracks; within a week he succumbed to starvation and exposure.
This tragic story has become the pillar for hopeful programs like the Legacy School Initiative and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which continue to try to build a better, more inclusive, Canada.
“It is our hope to continue to educate and bring awareness of the impact Canada’s residential school system had on Indigenous Peoples,” said Principal Kevin Mielko.
“The Downie & Wenjack Legacy School aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. As a school community we will be involved in creating reconciliACTIONS, cultural activities and more, to support and increase awareness of our Indigenous Peoples."
For more information on the Downie and Wenjack Fund and the Legacy Schools Program, please visit: https://downiewenjack.ca/our-work/legacy-s ...