Gord Downie has inspired many Canadians to do great and important things when it comes to our relationship with indigenous peoples. Joel Clement is one of those folks. Here’s what he’s doing on October 22 in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
I am organizing an evening in my home town to share something with my community that I am very passionate about. The event is called “Secret Path: Walking Toward Reconciliation”, and as far as I know will be the first major licensed screening of “The Secret Path” in Canada. Special guests will include Mike Downie, Pearl Wenjack Achneepineskum and and Daisy Munroe (Chanie’s sisters), Shirley Williams (Prof. Emeritus, Trent University Indigenous Studies), and we are working on Jeff Lemire. Prof. Williams will provide a keynote address, and there will be a discussion panel with Mike, Pearl, Shirley and others. We will even have an acoustic performance of “The Stranger” by Jeremy Hoyle, lead singer of the Buffalo NY tribute band The Strictly Hip.
A special portion of the night for me will be the presentation of my photographic documentary “The Weight of your Heart” about my experience in Kenora documenting the Walk For Wenjack.
It will be amazing night of artistry, education and reflection. An awakening of the heart, mind and soul through music, animated illustration, photography and the spoken word. Reconciliation. Conciliation. And it is my hope that individuals in my community will be touched by the story of Chanie in the same way I was, and motivated to do their part in walking a path towards reconciliation.
Visit the Facebook page here.
There’s also a GoFundMe campaign with money earmarked for th Biindigen Healing & Arts (assisting the Indigenous community of York Region), and the Gord Downie Chanie Wenjack Fund (funding reconciliation initiatives nationwide).