A local Guelphite, Jason, is a part of a team of 4 non indigenous walkers and the founder of walk for wenjack. In light of treaty week it’s important to help spread the word if you can. This walk will be to help raise awareness to the ongoing indigenous issues to the north. Help them spread truth as they walk as one towards reconciliation!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Historic walk in Northern Ontario to raise Awareness for Reconciliation Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples
Four lifelong Tragically Hip fans will embark on a multi-day hike to retrace the steps of Chanie Wenjack, an aboriginal boy who died fifty years ago while escaping the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, ON. The walk will raise awareness for the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, which aims to foster new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples towards the goal of true reconciliation.
Inspired by Wenjack’s story — as told through Gord Downie’s latest solo project, Secret Path, as well as an accompanying graphic novel and animated film — members of the Courage For Gord fan fundraising committee are preparing to embark on what will not only be their most impactful fundraiser to date but also a spiritual journey called #walkforwenjack. With support from Mike Downie and Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, the team of four plans to retrace the final steps of Chanie Wenjack in Northern Ontario.
Rob Ferreira (Schomberg, ON), Jason Lafave (Guelph, ON), Stacey Barker (St. Catharines, ON), and Terri Manko (Gatineau, QC) will fly to Winnipeg, MB, on November 18 then make their way to Kenora, ON, to start their journey. On November 19, they will embark on a 30-km walk to Redditt, ON. On November 20, local Indigenous friends will lead the team in traditional ceremonies before setting off to the approximate location of Chanie Wenjack’s final resting spot near Farlane, ON. A portion of the walk will be accompanied by the Wenjack family and survivors of the residential school era. The Walk For Wenjack journey is planned to be an annual tradition to not only celebrate the life of Chanie Wenjack but also help tell the story of all youths from the residential school era who never made it home.
The #walkforwenjack idea came from team member Jason Lafave. Lafave underwent brain surgery at the age of 26, an experience which changed his outlook on life. “I came out of that surgery with the understanding that everything I do in my life now must have a meaning and purpose,” says Lafave. “The Courage For Gord campaign has led us all to this defining moment. This walk is something I would like to see every Canadian take to gain insight and understanding into the hardships faced by Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.”
Mike Downie, who introduced his brother Gord to the Chanie Wenjack story was moved by the idea of this journey – “Love you guys! An army of virtuous believers spreading the seeds of reconciliation and national progress – with excellent taste in music”.
All proceeds will support the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. Donations can be made at http://www.courageforgord.org
Rob FerreiraJason Lafavewww.facebook.com/walkforwenjack
Courage For Gord, President Walk For Wenjack, Team Leadwww.courageforgord.org
Tel: (647) 290-2570Tel: (226) 979-8337 www.downiewenjack.ca