On Oct. 22, 1966, near Kenora, Ont., Chanie Wenjack died trying to run away from a residential school, hoping to reach the family he was taken from more than 600 kilometres away. Fifty years later, Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has taken Wenjack's story and turned it into the Secret Path project, which consists of a solo album, a graphic novel and an animated film.
Downie, who went public with his diagnosis of glioblastoma earlier this year, hopes to use his celebrity as the frontman of the Tragically Hip to bring attention to Wenjack's story and the brutal legacy of residential schools.
Secret Path was released on Oct. 18, accompanied by an 88-page graphic novel illustrated by award-winning author Jeff Lemire. Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to the Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconcilation via the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.
Secret Path, an animated film that is part of Gord Downie's project, is an hour-long commercial-free television special that aired on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC Television. You can now watch it above.
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