The Secret Path Film Analysis

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Counteracting Indigenous stereotypes in The Secret Path by Gord Dowie, and Illustrated by Jeff Lemire The Secret Path is a multimedia project that focuses on an Ojibwe boy named Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, and his escape from residential school. The project premiered on October 23rd 2016, and it comprises of an album, a graphic novel, and an animated film. It was created by Gord Downie and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, both whom are artists that are “white and from southern Ontario,” and they both have no Indigenous heritage (Grundy). In the text, “‘Sharing Our Stories with All Canadians’: Decolonizing Aboriginal Media and Aboriginal Media Politics in Canada,” Kerstin Knopf suggests that Aboriginal people are best suited for countering the “prevalent…show more content…
Several members of Indigenous communities, along with the Wenjack family, have praised the project. Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, called it a “powerful film” and stated that his community was “inspired by Gord Downie’s determination to share the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack and history of the Indian Residential School era” (NetNewsLedger). Likewise, Former regional chief Charles Fox claimed the film revived “a lot of memories” surrounding his experience in Residential school (Garrick). The Wenjack family, has adopted Mike Downie and Gord Downie, as “blood brothers” for their work on The Secret Path (Garrick). With this in mind, these Indigenous individuals and community leaders are suggesting this story is an accurate representation of their history. In addition this story has been taken up by multiple platforms, including twitter. Several teachers have come forward on twitter claiming to use The Secret Path in their lesson plans. @MrsMievresClass tweeted, “The Secret Path makes reconciliation real for Pilot Butte students,” the tweet includes a picture of young students holding up drawings related to Wenjack’s plight. While @cheranpete stated that “[his] class has been walking in memory of #ChanieWenjack We will not forget, we will do better.” @cheranpete’s tweet also includes a screenshot of The Secret Path, with a number of boots placed along side Chanie on the railway
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