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What is the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF)?
Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, DWF aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.
Who runs DWF?
DWF is an Indigenous-led organization with a core team of individuals who are committed to moving our mission forward. We are governed by a Board of Directors made up of outstanding professional Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders. We’re honoured to have a diverse and talented group who collectively guide us to ensure the journey continues towards supporting a stronger Canada.
More information on our board members can be found here.
Is DWF a registered charity?
Yes, DWF received it’s charitable status in March 2018. Our registered charity number is 784055915RR0001.
How can I help?
There are a number of ways to help;
What is Secret Path Week?
Secret Path Week takes place annually from October 17-22. Secret Path week raises awareness of the history and legacy of residential schools and through the campaign, funds are raised to further develop our Legacy Space and Legacy Schools programs. The dates are special because it occurs between the anniversaries of Gord and Chanie’s passing (October 17 and 22 respectively). During this time we encourage our partners and all Canadians to participate in their own reconciliACTIONS.
What is a reconciliACTION?
A reconciliACTION is a meaningful action that moves reconciliation forward. ReconciliACTIONs aim to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together in the spirit of reconciliation to share, learn, and create awareness. It is the answer to Gord’s call to ‘Do Something’; do something to raise further awareness, do something that improves the lives of Indigenous people, do something to improve the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. ReconciliACTIONs act as catalysts for important conversations and meaningful change – recognizing change starts with each of us and every person can make an impact.
A few ideas for a reconciliACTION are:
- Researching the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities in your region and learning the land acknowledgement; make sure this is built into your business’s or organization’s communications
- Host a dinner, lunch and learn, or morning coffee with some traditional Indigenous dishes. Share information and encourage conversations about Indigenous history, culture and reconciliation
- Visit a local Indigenous organization; friendship centre, community group, museum, or attend a cultural event in your community
Do you provide funding for projects?
While the Fund has historically participated in delivering micro-grants to grassroots projects, we are not a funding body. DWF is currently focused on developing our internal programs while defining our role among the many great organizations in Canada. We hope to provide more micro-grants in the future, however, we are unsure as to when DWF will be able to offer this again.
Can I have someone from DWF, the Wenjack or the Downie family speak at my event/school?
Please include the following details;
- Date and time
- Audience (estimated size and audience type)
- Name of the event
- Brief event summary
Appearances are subject to availability. Please note that travel and accommodation costs are the responsibility of the host.
I want to do an event to raise money for DWF. What can I do?
DWF is open to all ideas that support reconciliation! Submit your idea here and someone from DWF will be in touch with you shortly.
Can I use your logo on my product and donate a portion of the proceeds to DWF?
Third-party fundraising requests are subject to review and approval by DWF. Please submit your idea here and a member of the DWF team will be in touch shortly.
How can I volunteer?
DWF is currently in the process of building our volunteer database. Please fill out the form here to be added to our roster!