It was our honour to help the community of Tahsis bring in the award-winning documentary filmmaker Mike Downie, brother of the late Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip, to speak about Truth & Reconciliation to over 100 students and Elders from the west coast of Vancouver Island on Oct. 18.
Students from School District 84 (Gold River, Kyuquot, Zeballos and Tahsis) heard Mike speak about his goal to inspire Canadians to walk a path of reconciliation and help bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. He also played the animated film Secret Path, which he worked on with his brother before Gord’s passing two years ago. The Secret Path tells the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who died while trying to escape from a residential school and travel back home to his family over 400 miles away.
“A huge thank you to Grieg Seafood, the Tahsis Fire Department and the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation Health Department,” said Allison Stiglitz, a teacher who organized the event.
“Thanks to all of you, Mike Downie delivered an extremely important message. His story acknowledged our nation’s lack of understanding about residential schools, hopefully giving our youth more insight on the trauma inflicted over decades, so when they grow into young adults, one by one, they have more knowledge, kindness and understanding… Mike accomplished this with far more impact than I ever imagined.”
Mike is currently the co-founder of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.