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When Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip was a little boy, his older brother, Mike told him a story that haunted him forever. In the Feb 1, 1967 issue of Maclean's, the cover story described the harrowing tale of a 12-year-old Indigenous boy, who in late October 1966, died trying to run away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario. Chanie was trying to make his way home, which was 400 miles northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario on a reservation. Instead, his lifeless body was found by the railroad tracks not far from the school.
Marking the 50th anniversary of Chanie Wenjack's passing, Downie created Secret Path, a multi-media project that includes an illustrated book, album and television program documenting this tragedy. The Secret Path acknowledges a dark time in Canada's history, but Gord hopes that awareness through this project and the Gord Downie Secret Path Fund, that the path to reconciliation will move the country forward. "Chanie is my brother now. His story is Canada's story. We are not the country we thought we were. History will be re-written. We are all accountable," says Downie.
The hour-long, commercial-free animated film Sunday, October 23, 9:00 pm (9:30 NT), CBC.
Gord turned the poems he wrote about this tragedy into a ten-song album.
The 88-page graphic novel is illustrated by award-winning author Jeff Lemire, and visually tells the story of 12-year-old Ojibway Chanie Wenjack. Secret Path, $26.99
*Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation.
If you're craving something different, big or small, Dr. Lorraine Bennington, a Vancouver registered psychologist, shares her top tips for taking the leap.
If you feel like there's something missing in your life, it's time to figure out what adjustments you can make to improve your situation. Revisit the things that made you happy as a child, which Dr. Bennington says are part of your "life blueprint," to direct your first steps. That could mean taking jewellery-making classes if you've always wanted to be a fashion designer, or returning to university if you've long wanted to be a lawyer.
Visualize your future
If the idea of change overwhelms you, imagine what your life will look like in five years if things remain the same, then visualize what it will be like if you take the plunge. "Usually, people will say it looks better with the change," says Dr. Bennington.
Don't listen to toxic people
If you've found that a particular parent, sibling or friend doesn't believe you can succeed (in a new job, with a new partner or as a single parent), it's time to stop expecting that person to miraculously offer support. "Don't share your ideas with someone who is likely to respond negatively every time," says Dr. Bennington. Instead, seek people who are "consistently genuine and supportive."
Rewrite your story
Even if a transition (like a divorce or a layoff) is out of your control, you can choose to see the situation through a positive lens. Maybe there's a part of you that was unhappy for years or secretly wanted freedom from a controlling husband or a nosy boss. "Reframe the change as something good, rather than as something awful that's happened to you," says Dr. Bennington.