Crolancia Public School named Canada’s first Downie Wenjack Fund Legacy School
Tim Brody - Editor
Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake has been named the first Legacy School in Canada through the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (or Downie Wenjack Fund).
The announcement was made at a school-wide assembly in October.
The school plans to honour the Downie Wenjack Fund by dedicating two benches outside of the school, dedicating the school’s Native as a Second Language (NSL) classroom as the Legacy Classroom, and renaming the school’s NSL award to the Charlie Wenjack Award.
“The Downie Wenjack Fund Legacy School program is an opportunity for classrooms/schools to lead the movement in awareness of the history and impact of the Residential School System on Indigenous Peoples. Legacy Schools are provided a Secret Path Toolkit and educational support resources to engage students, staff and school communities as a catalyst for reconciliation in Canada. The toolkits are being well used at the school, with staff engaging students in a wide variety of activities related to the book, the Secret Path,” a media release issued by the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board informed.
Principal Holly Szumowski stated “When our teacher Harriet Visitor (Chanie Wenjack's niece) shared her work, connection, and involvement with the Downie Wenjack Fund, I knew that our school had to be a part of this movement. Being named the first Legacy School is a wonderful honour, however the real work begins now. In the spirit of reconciliation, we must all continue to not only share Chanie’s story, but listen, respect, and respond to all survivors’ stories. As Justice Sinclair said, ‘Education is what got us here, and education is what will get us out.’”