Holy Spirit, help us to be reconcilers, and healers, and peacemakers in your name.
This spring, Grade 7/8 class did an indepth study of the Secret Path project, during which we listened to and studied songs from Gord Downie’s album and veiwed the illustrations in the accompanying animated film and graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire. This book tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School 50 years ago.
During this unit, the students learned about Canada’s residential school system, growing in their awareness and understanding of the issues that led to these tragedies and the resulting intergenerational trauma.
Modeling the grace, acceptance, and compassion exemplified by Jesus was a central focus of this unit. The students considered how they could become advocates for Indigenous healing and restoration, loving and living the gospel in such a way that their words and life bring hope instead of pain to people who have had religion weaponized against them.
As a culminating project for this unit, the students created diorama scenes, using the striking images fom Jeff Lemire’s illustrations and connecting their artwork to the impactful words of Gord Downie’s songs.