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The Downie and Wenjack Families: Thank you, Canada

Press Release

Oct 20, 2017

The Downie and Wenjack Families would like to thank each and every person who has reached out with memories of our brother Gord. There has been a massive outpouring of love and support for both our families at this difficult time and we are truly grateful for the tributes, messages and donations to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund.

Gord’s message to us was clear, each and every one us has a role to play in bringing real reconciliation to Canada’s next 150 years.


“When Gord said at the Tragically Hip’s last concert, ‘We’re going to figure it out. You’re going to figure it out.’ He was telling us that it was going to take every living Canadian to figure out a way to make this country whole and fix our long neglected relationship with Indigenous people. Gord dreamed of a Canada that was truly inclusive – a country  where Indigenous culture and teachings come to the fore – a country that our Indigenous brothers and sisters can one day be proud of.  I share my brother’s dream and I hope millions of Canadians will too. It’s time we got to know each other, it’s time to get to work.” — Mike Downie, Co-Founder of the Downie Wenjack Fund

“Inuit will always be appreciative of the significant contributions Gord made on the path to reconciliation… Gord’s work for Indigenous peoples in the face of personal adversity will be an enduring and extraordinary example of true courage and dedication to building a better Canada.” — National Inuit Leader, Natan Obed, ITK

“I want to thank Gord Downie for his call for action to all Canadians. He asked you to “Do Something”  It is people like Gord that help brings awareness to the history of residential schools to a larger Canadian audience, so that people can become more conscious of the work we all must do to make Reconciliation a success in this country. — Atlantic Regional Chief Morley Googoo, Assembly of First Nations

“Through the establishment of the Downie Wenjack Fund, Gord has left Canada with an incredible gift. A platform and opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadian to engage, and grow together on our path towards reconciliation. As Canadians we have a responsibility to understand our shared history, Gord recognized this and took action, in a way that only he could, to “do something” to help build a better Canada. Now it is our turn.” — Sarah Midanik, Program Director, Downie Wenjack Fund.

Key/Important facts:

  • Gord Downie’s Secret Path in Concert will make its broadcast premiere on Sunday, October 22 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC TV and streaming at, commemorating the 51st anniversary of Chanie Wenjack’s death.
  • People all across Canada are gathering to pay tribute to Gord and Chanie this week by holding watching parties, fundraisers and gathering to toast Gord’s lifes work.
  • The Fund is accepting donations on its website


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