The Victoria Royals and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) are pleased to announce that they have renewed their partnership for the 2019-20 hockey season, with a special initiative in support of Secret Path Week.
DWF aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Their work centres around improving the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all Canadians.
Secret Path Week takes place annually from October 17-22, and is a national movement commemorating the legacies of both Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack. Secret Path is a graphic novel and film that tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, an Ojibway boy who died while running away from his residential school in October of 1966.
“Gord Downie made a simple request of Canadians,” Royals President and General Manager Cameron Hope said. “He challenged us all to ‘Do Something’ and we accept this challenge. We are proud to be a partner for building awareness and strengthening connections among all Canadians.”
Over the past two seasons, the Royals have partnered with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund to raise awareness and more than $30,000 through various fundraising efforts and initiatives.
The Royals will once again support the Fund with a season-long awareness campaign. The Club will also donate all proceeds from the October auction sale of a custom-painted goalie mask. The one-of-a-kind special mask is painted by Victoria artist Travis Michael, who has painted all Victoria Royals goalie masks since 2014. The mask pays tribute to Chanie Wenjack and reflects the story of The Secret Path.
Bidding on the goalie mask will be available online, beginning tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. and will run until October 28th at 7:00 p.m. at: www.32auctions.com/DWF2019. All proceeds raised from the auction will go towards DWF.
“We are grateful and encouraged by the Victoria Royals taking up Gord Downie’s call to “Do Something” in such a meaningful way,” says DWF President and CEO, Sarah Midanik. “Chanie Wenjack’s story has helped many Canadians understand the true history and legacy of residential schools, and it is through this awareness that our country can begin to change for the better.”
DWF’s initiatives include the Legacy Schools program which provides free resources to over 1,300 schools across Canada to support teaching about the history of residential schools and to give voice to Indigenous issues. Legacy Schools and Legacy Spaces commit to reconciliACTIONS – meaningful actions to help move reconciliation forward. During Secret Path Week, all Canadians are asked to answer Gord Downie’s call to “Do Something”.
Those interested in further information, or looking to donate to this important cause, are encouraged to visit www.downiewenjack.ca.