When Chanie Wenjack died of exposure in 1966, it triggered the first-ever inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children at Canada's residential schools. Decades later, this searing novella tackles his tragic story.
The first time Canadians heard Chanie Wenjack's story, it was 1967 and it had been months since the 12-year-old Ojibwa boy had died while running away from the residential school he had been forced to attend. At the time, Chanie's tragic fate barely made a dent in our collective consciousness, but 50 years later, Canadian artists—such as Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, graphic novelist and artist Jeff Lemire, electronic music group A Tribe Called Red and author Joseph Boyden—are working to make him a household name. Take, for example, Boyden's latest novella, Wenjack. It's a much shorter read than his last book, The Orenda, but no less critical.
Wenjack follows Chanie on his ill-fated journey home, where, shivering and starving, he's followed by manitous—spirits that take the shape of animals—which observe his journey through sympathetic eyes. Home, you see, is much farther away than Chanie realizes. Wenjack turns a scathing eye on residential schools and reminds us that Chanie's desire for his family, his language and his pet dogs is not a singular story, but, rather, evidence of a dark stain on Canadian history. Boyden continues the difficult conversation of reconciliation by allowing us a glimpse into the frightened mind of a child who only knows that home is where he should be—and that Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School is not it.
Wenjack (Hamish Hamilton Canada)by Joseph Boyden, $12.
Photography by Sian Richards
The marble trend is still going strong for 2017, but you don’t have to splash out on real stone to get the look. Transform a plain tray into a chic catchall with this easy project.
- A cardboard or wooden tray
- Acrylic paint in three complementary colours, or two colours plus white
- A small paintbrush
1. Lay the tray, right side up, on a hard work surface. Pour two or three large dollops of each paint colour onto the top of the tray.
2. Tilt the tray to one side until vertical, then gently tap the bottom edge onto your work surface, allowing the paint to drip down to the edge of the tray. Rotate the tray 90 degrees and tap the bottom edge again to create a marbled design. Repeat until the surface of the tray is coated, adding more paint, if needed, as you go.
3. Using the paintbrush, paint the rim and the sides of the tray in one of the colours.
4. Let dry overnight.
Tip: Add a metallic hue for a glam accent, or go with grey and white paint for the look of Carrara marble.
Ann Douglas shares her weight-loss story. Image by: David Wile
Ann Douglas shares how a walking routine and being kinder to herself helped her lose 120 pounds.I had almost given up on ever losing the extra weight I'd been carrying around my entire life. It was January 2013. I was staring down a milestone birthday (50) and the number on my scale (286 pounds). Heading into midlife with more than 100 extra pounds increased my odds of a premature death or disability. I wanted so much more for myself and my family.
|This story was originally titled "Many Steps Forward" in the October 2014 issue.|
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