North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Nov 06
Chanie (A Response to ‘The Stranger’)
Five schools in the North Vancouver School District have partnered with the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund to support the reconciliation process through awareness, education, and action. Chanie Wenjack was just 9-years-old when he was taken from his family and sent to a residential school in northern Ontario. Three years later he ran away from the school in an attempt to get back to his home and was found frozen to death beside a railroad track.

Here is a collaborative poem written by grades five and six students in division 4 at Carisbrooke Elementary School:

Chanie (A Response to ‘The Stranger’)

You’re not a stranger

We can see you

You’re not a stranger

We know what you mean

We see you walking

We are your friends

We are walking with you

This journey has no end

We can hear you

The sound of your breath

We can sense you

Feel the warmth of our hands

As you walk in the clouds

You touch the air with your breath

We follow your path

It’s in our hearts, in our heads

Flying up above

Let’s jump forward, not back

Use the map

The one that’s in your soul

You’re not a stranger

We can see you

You’re not a stranger

We know what you mean

We are sorry

There was no Secret Path

So stop, catch your breath

We will step together

You are never alone

We are right behind you, head home

It’s not a Secret Path anymore

Canada knows who you are

We’re reaching towards you

It’s not too far

Just catch your breath

Holding our hands

We can make it together

We believe in you

You’re a revelation

You’re not a stranger

We can see you

You are not a stranger

We know what you mean

We know your dad’s a nice man

We know he’s a strong man

He’s a good man

Sometimes you feel like you need to surrender

We all do

But you came back

You have the courage

It’s only you and me

Have your mind set

It’s only you and me

You can take our breath

You are so brave

Always have faith

We understand

We know what you’re feeling

It’s not a guess

It’s in our hearts

It’s in our chests

You made it

To a better place

You didn’t stop

Our journey goes on

You’re still on the path

Our hands stretched out to yours

We are the path

The one we now know…


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