Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake named first Downie Wenjack Fund Legacy School in Canada
November 7, 2018
Staff and students at Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake, and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, are honoured to announce Crolancia Public School 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.
During the special assembly, Principal Holly Szumowski, announced the school’s plans to honour the Downie Wenjack Fund, including the dedication of two benches outside of the school, the dedication of the school’s Native as a Second Language (NSL) classroom as the Legacy Classroom, and the renaming of the school’s end of year NSL award as 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.
Szumowski stated “When our teacher Harriet Visitor 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.’”