Partnership creates more opportunities for young people to learn about and lead the reconciliation movement
Toronto, ON, October 18, 2021 – The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund has partnered with BGC Canada to provide Clubs in Canada with Legacy Schools toolkits, empowering kids and teens to participate in reconciliation through awareness, education, and action.
Containing resources and activities to help staff engage young people in reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, the toolkits will be used in existing Indigenous-focused programs at BGC Clubs, like Youth Leading Reconciliation, and incorporated into other activities as an opportunity to teach Indigenous worldviews and cultural understanding.
“Providing meaningful opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous young leaders to forge new pathways together is a crucial contribution to Truth and Reconciliation,” says Owen Charters, President & CEO, BGC Canada. “We are inspired by the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund’s commitment to helping young people across the country realize the many ways they can contribute to reconciliation and build a better future.”
The Legacy Schools toolkits also include copies of the graphic novel Secret Path, written by Gord Downie and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, which tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who died while trying to escape an Ontario residential school in 1966.
Answering Gord Downie’s call to action “Do Something,” Club staff and youth will participate in Secret Path Week October 17 – 22 by creating reconciliACTIONs in their individual Clubs and communities and encouraging further conversations and education about the history and ongoing impact of residential schools.
“Young people are the leaders and changemakers of not only the future, but of today,” says Sarah Midanik, President & CEO, Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. “We are thrilled to be able to reach more youth through BGC Clubs to ensure youth in Canada understand the true history and legacy of residential schools and the continued strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples.”
76 Club locations have received toolkits to date, with more to follow. Clubs will also receive a booster pack each year with updated information and new resources.
Read BGC Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commitment Statement here.
About BGC Canada
For 120+ years, BGC Canada has been creating opportunities for millions of Canadian kids and teens. As Canada’s largest child and youth serving charitable and community services organization, our Clubs open their doors to young people of all ages and their families at 736 locations nationwide. During out-of-school hours in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities, our trained staff and volunteers provide programs and services that help young people realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, job readiness, mental wellness, social development, leadership, and more. Opportunity changes everything. Learn more at bgccan.com and follow us on social media @BGCCAN.
About the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF)
Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. DWF’s work centres around improving the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all Canadians. www.downiewenjack.ca @downiewenjack