Historica Canada chose a brave subject for the latest video in their ongoing Heritage Minutes series. An Indigenous boy lies dead in the wilderness, and the text "part of our heritage" plays over the video.
The boy is 12-year-old Chanie "Charlie" Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy placed at the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near in Kenora, Ontario. In 1966, Wenjack ran away with only light cotton clothes. His parents weren't notified.
A week later, Wenjack's body was found. He died from hunger and exposure to the harsh weather.
The following year, a Maclean's story on Wenjack by journalist Ian Adams brought national attention to the oppression and abuse at residential schools.
Some of Heritage Minutes' other videos are on Vikings in Newfoundland, Terry Fox, and Canadian innovation -- heritage Canadians can be proud of. This video, released on National Aboriginal Day, is a different brand of heritage, but still part of our history. Wenjack's brother makes an appearance.