The Secret Path

At the centre of this collection is Gord Downie's The Secret Path, an emotional animated film following the last days of Chanie Wenjack as he tried to escape residential school. In addition, stories and interviews with the Wenjack family, Indigenous artists and leaders explore the ongoing and necessary work of building new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and communities.

  • 2016
  • 13-14
  • 8 Titles

Included in this collection

Cross Country Checkup Art and reconciliation

The Secret Path is a powerful film about an Indigenous boy who dies escaping a residential school. Does art — films, books and music — offer the best path to heal historical wrongs? Guests include Joseph Boyden, award-winning author of Three Day Road, The Orenda and most recently the novella Wenjack; Susan Aglukark, Inuk singer and songwriter; Ry Moran, Director of the National Centre for ...
  • 2016
  • 01:53:03
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/10/2016

CBC Arts CBC Arts Road to Reconciliation Panel Discussion

How can Chanie Wenjack's story make a difference? Following The Secret Path broadcast, CBC live-streamed The Road to Reconciliation, a special one-hour panel conversation hosted by Melanie Nepinak Hadley, with CBC's Jesse Wente, filmmaker Tasha Hubbard and National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation director Ry Moran, live from CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto.
  • 2016
  • 01:08:18
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/16/2016

CBC Radio One Dying For An Education: Little Charlie

He wasn't the first residential school runaway, and he wouldn't be the last. Chanie (Charlie) Wenjack died after fleeing the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario, trying to make it to his home on the Marten Falls First Nation 600 kilometres away. When his story was chronicled by Ian Adams in Maclean's magazine, ordinary Canadians got one of their first ...
  • 2012
  • 00:11:11
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/07/2016

CBC Arts Gord Downie's Secret Path in Concert

“If this is the last thing I do, I'm very happy. This is what I want to do." This intimate concert film captures Canadian musician Gord Downie’s remarkable and emotional Secret Path performance in October 2016, interwoven with footage from the original animated film. This live tribute to Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy who died trying to escape residential school, ...
  • 2017
  • 00:58:31
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/11/2017

CBC Arts The Secret Path

This powerful animated film tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Ojibwa boy who died of exposure in 1966 while running away from Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario. The story is told through music by Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and illustrations by graphic novelist Jeff Lemire. The Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history — ...
  • 2016
  • 00:59:55
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/09/2016

CBC Short Docs The Secret Path: Ahead by a Century

A group of Ontario high school students write and perform a play that honours Gord Downie’s music and Secret Path project. On the day of the dress rehearsal, drama teacher Scott Garbe invites a very special guest to watch scenes from the play. Tim “Redfeather” Thomas, a 74-year-old Mi'kmaq elder, talks about his own experiences in residential school with the cast.
  • 2017
  • 00:06:10
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 10/04/2017

CBC Short Docs The Secret Path: Freedom to Speak

A group of inmates at Toronto South Detention Centre are studying Secret Path, Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel about Chanie Wenjack. Chanie was a young Anishinaabe boy who died while running away from residential school in 1966 — simply because he wanted to go home. Many themes in Chanie’s story resonate with these inmates: isolation, identity, fear, anger, the ...
  • 2017
  • 00:08:18
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 12/12/2017

CBC Short Docs The Secret Path: In The Classroom

Gord Downie's Secret Path tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died trying to get home from residential school in 1966. It's been taught in classrooms across Canada this year. Daisy and Pearl Wenjack, Chanie's sisters, visit a school in Toronto where the children have a special surprise for the family.
  • 2017
  • 00:09:37
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 10/05/2017

Teacher Guide(s)

  • How to Use Video Effectively in the Classroom [.pdf]