Mackenzie Students Dedicated to Truth and Reconciliation

Posted on Thursday June 01, 2023

To show their dedication to Truth and Reconciliation, Caroline Waddingtons' grade 6 class at Mackenzie Community School decided to take on the task of "Walking Chanie Home" this school year.

After learning about the residential school system, and Chanie "Charlie" Wenjack's story of attempting to return home from his residential school, the class decided that together they would walk the 600 KM that it would have taken Chanie to get home on their school track.

Not only did they learn about math, history, and gain physical exercise, but together the class became ambassadors for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action.

After reaching the 600 KM milestone to "Walk Chanie Home", the class has now started walking 500 KM's for Joe Commanda, a community member of Pikwakanagan who was killed trying to escape the Brantford residential school.

Students recently had the opportunity to hear virtually from Elder Loretta Nadeau (Commanda), Joe's older sister, who is the spokesperson for the family. Loretta talked to the class about who Joe was, the story of how their family brought Joe home on their own walk as a community, and thanked the class for their commitment to action and reconciliation.

Ross Commanda and his mom Rose Marie Commanda (Joe's nephew and sister-in-law) made a traditional lunch for the class of Indian Tacos, Scone Dogs, and Bannock dipped in brown sugar.

With about 200 KM's left to go, Mrs. Waddington's class will walk Joe home before the end of the school year.

Miigwetch to Elider Commanda for sharing her story with the class, and to Ross and Rose for taking the time to feed our hungry walkers.