Downie Wenjack Bnr

Secret Path Week

Once again, Docs For Schools is pleased to partner with Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Secret Path Week.

In a year when further horrors of residential schools have come to light, we are proud to be part of this national initiative that engages, empowers and connects students and educators to further reconciliation through awareness, education and action.

All films include grade level recommendations below.
It is important for teachers to preview any film prior to showing to students. You know your students best so please consider the sensitivity of the content.

  • Available October 12 to 29, 2021
  • Book the film(s) for the weeks that coincides with your teaching
  • Each booking is two weeks long
  • Film(s) will be sent one week before selected week for preview and lesson prep
  • Film(s) will be sent with a link and controlled password
  • Education package will be sent with each film
  • Multiple weeks may be booked

Questions? Please contact Elspeth Arbow, Docs For Schools Coordinator, at [email protected].

The Films

Rumble The Indians Who Rocked The World 1


  • Canada
  • 103
  • Catherine Bainbridge
  • Alfonso Maiorana

For HIGH SCHOOL GRADES, includes coarse language

More than the Who, the Rolling Stones or Elvis Presley, it was Link Wray’s distorted guitar that forever changed the sound of rock ‘n’ roll. His 1958 track “Rumble” was described by Bob Dylan as “the best instrumental ever”—yet it was banned by many American radio stations. As a Native American, Wray’s music posed a threat to the establishment, as did the blues, jazz and pop of so many other Indigenous musicians over the years. Artists like Charlie Patton, Mildred Bailey and Jimi Hendrix couldn’t be open about their native identities as attempts to erase Indigenous cultures persisted across the continent. Blending audio archives, concert footage and interviews with industry icons Robbie Robertson, Buffy St. Marie, Taboo (Black Eyed Peas) and many others, this Sundance award-winner is an unforgettable and political exploration of a musical history that was silenced for too long. Alexander Rogalski, Hot Docs

Spirit To Soar 1


  • Canada
  • 46
  • Tanya Talaga
  • Michelle Derosier

For HIGH SCHOOL GRADES, contains sensitive content

Between 2000 and 2011, seven First Nations high school students in Thunder Bay died. Five were found in rivers surrounding Lake Superior. All were forced to leave their homes in order to attend school. Anishinaabe/Polish Canadian journalist Tanya Talaga brought international attention to this tragedy through her award-winning non-fiction book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City. She cannot separate their story from her own, acknowledging, "I cannot pretend to know what it is like for the parents of the seven to lose a child, but I know something about what it's like to be a bit fractured." In June 2016, a jury concluded its inquest into the deaths and put forward 145 recommendations. In the years following, Talaga returns to Thunder Bay and her ancestral roots to talk with the family members, Indigenous community leaders and youth whose resilience in the face of unjust colonial systems provide a path forward. Alexander Rogalski, Hot Docs

CBC As It Happens: Tanya Talag explores racism in Thunder Bay and her own Indigenous roots in Spirit to Soar

Turning Tables


  • Canada
  • 16
  • Chrisann Hessing

For GRADES 7-12, may be suitable for 5/6 with teacher preview

Pow wow techno pioneer Joshua DePerry, a.k.a. Classic Roots, uniquely integrates the sounds of his Anishinaabe heritage with electronic and house music. Redefining what it means to be urban and Indigenous, he’s preparing to start the next chapter of his life as an artist and educator in the world’s techno capital: Berlin. Aisha Jamal, Hot Docs

Opportunity for Teachers Only

The Australia Dream is a documentary that we initially wanted to show as part of our film offerings for Secret Path Week. Due to sensitive content and offensive language, along with Downie & Wenjack Fund, we have decided to offer this film to teachers only. As this is not for students, any grade teacher may book.

The film will be available for a 48 hour window beginning Sunday, October 17 at 12:01 a.m ET and ending on Monday, October 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The film will come with a brief survey as we would like to know your thoughts.

To book, please contact Lesley Sparks as [email protected].

The Australian Dream

The Australian Dream

  • Australia, UK
  • 106
  • Daniel Gordon

Contains sensitive content, offensive language

This is the remarkable and inspirational story of Australian Football League (AFL) player Adam Goodes. To make a Canadian connection to his level of skill and respect in the AFL, consider the NHL’s Sidney Crosby. The difference being that Adam is an Aussie Indigenous footballer.

We experience the journey of Adam’s career and with his success the racism only grew. His love for the game ebbs and flows as he experiences racism on the pitch and beyond, until one day Adam had enough and called a racial slur out in the moment during a match. Similar to what Kyle Lowry did with the Raptors during the NBA Finals (2019) against the Warriors, but the subject and public reaction was different for Adam.

Adam’s story is not isolated. It is consistently being played out in major sporting leagues around the globe. Just this past year we saw the slurs directed to Edmonton Oilers’ Indigenous player Nathan Bear when the Oilers lost in the NHL playoffs. The hatred spewed to the England team Black players who missed their penalty kicks in the Euro Cup Final in July.

We hear of these stories, but The Australian Dream takes you inside the impact these racial abuses have on the person.

For supplementary content, check out the Docs For Schools TODAY Indigenous page for free, online web docs we have curated.


Lead Partner

  • Lead Partner

Founding Partner

  • Founding Partner

Exclusive Education Partner

  • Exclusive Education Partner

Supported by

  • Supported by

Additional support is provided by Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation, Donner Canadian Foundation, Pitblado Family Foundation, The McLean Foundation, and through contributions by individual donors.

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Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Founding Partner

  • logo Rogers

Signature Partner

  • Logo Cbc Gem

Presenting Partners

  • logo Crave
  • logo Netflix

Major Supporters

  • logo Celebrate Ontario
  • logo telefilm