He was a singer, song writer, poet and advocate that was dedicated to raising awareness for the Indigenous communities in Canada through the Downie Wenjack Fund.
We are proud to continue spreading Gord Downie’s message and we encourage our listeners to learn more about the work that our friends at the Downie Wenjack Fund do to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples.
Key Messages 2022
Mission Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to action 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.
Vision Improving the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.
Our Work The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) was created out of two families coming together to make change, uphold Chanie and Gord’s legacies, and create a pathway on the journey toward reconciliation. DWF provides access to education on the true history of Canada and the true history and lasting impact of residential schools.
Educating all Canadians on the history and lasting impact of residential schools is a necessary and important component of reconciliation. DWF encourages reconciliation through our programs, campaigns, partnerships, and events, including reconciliACTIONs. It is through our work that we are contributing to the shift in the collective consciousness of all peoples in Canada and improving the lives of Indigenous people.
To learn more about DWF’s work or to make a donation, visit: downiewenjack.ca and follow on social media @downiewenjack.
What is Reconciliation?
DWF recognizes that reconciliation is not easily defined; it is not linear and does not have a clear endpoint. To us, reconciliation is a continuous process, a journey that leads to improved outcomes for Indigenous people throughout Canada. Awareness of the past, an acknowledgement of harm, and action to change behaviour are integral to the process. Reconciliation is not just an Indigenous issue – it is a Canadian issue.
What are ReconciliACTIONs?
A reconciliACTION is a meaningful action that moves reconciliation forward. ReconciliACTIONs aim to
bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples together in the spirit of reconciliation to create
awareness, share, and learn. They act as a catalyst for important conversations and meaningful change,
recognizing that change starts with every one of us. ReconciliACTIONs fulfill Gord’s call to action to #DoSomething.
• 5,265 registered Legacy Schools with representation in every province and territory, reaching Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in rural, remote, northern, and urban communities.
• 6,150 active Legacy Schools educators who are equipped with free tools and resources to
confidently teach their students about the true history and lasting impact of residential schools.
• 6,000+ free Legacy Schools toolkits and booster kits distributed to schools and educators
during the 2021/2022 school year.
• 150,000+ students at all grade levels reached through the Legacy Schools program (based on an estimated 25 students per educator).
• 49 Legacy Spaces partners in 30 cities in 6 provinces and 1 territory, providing 67 spaces for
continued learning and open and honest conversations about reconciliation.
Secret Path Week 2021:
• 20 online events reaching more than 44,000 viewers, held during Secret Path Week (October
17-22), in honour of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack, who joined the spirit world on these
• 198 Walk for Wenjack events were held in communities across Canada; the events had more
than 27,000 participants and raised $117,000.
Indigenous History Month 2022:
• Four virtual events hosted throughout June featured Elders, Knowledge Keepers, educators,
drummers, dancers, musicians, poets, and other performers from Northwest Territories, New
Brunswick, and Saskatchewan.
• The events highlighted a diversity of Indigenous Peoples and cultures, and culminating in a
special Kanata/Canada event on June 30th.