The Peterborough Public Library and its funding partners welcome the community to the grand opening of the first Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Legacy Space for Nogojiwanong/Peterborough on Saturday, May 27 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Main Library (345 Aylmer St. N.)

This Legacy Space is part of a five-year commitment to the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) designed to build cultural understanding, connections and a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This is important work and such Spaces have been established across the country. This will be the first to be hosted by a public library.

“We’re excited to have the community see this new space and to come along with us on our truth and reconciliation journey” says Jennifer Jones, Library CEO.

Legacy Spaces provide an opportunity to centre Indigenous voices and experience. We are delighted that Peterborough’s former Poet Laureate, Sarah Lewis, as well as award-winning playwright, author and film-maker, Drew Hayden Taylor have both agreed to join us on the 27and to share some of their work.

Afterwards, guests are invited to explore the Legacy Space and share Anishinaabe food prepared by Curve Lake’s Grandfather’s Kitchen.

Mitch Champagne, an early advocate for this project and president of CUPE 3908, spent a lot of time consulting with Indigenous stakeholders in the community about creating a Legacy Space. “I am grateful for the guidance we received from Indigenous people and communities in developing this project, but the responsibility for Reconciliation really lies with us all.”

As part of the five-year commitment, Peterborough Public Library is dedicated to Reconciliation and consistent recociliACTIONs throughout the year. This includes training and workshops, art performances as well as film and book discussions lead by or in partnership with our Indigenous Community.

You can follow along as they build the space, plan the launch, and develop programs and collections to support their commitment to reconciliACTION on the Library’s website at ptbolibrary.ca/LegacySpace and on social media channels.

Thank you to this project’s founding funding partners:

  • United Way Peterborough & District
  • TUFA - Trent University Faculty Association
  • CUPE 3908 - Trent University Contract Faculty and Student Academic Workers
  • Peterborough and District Labour Council
  • PVNCOECTA - Catholic Teachers Union
  • OPSEU Local 365 - Trent University Support Staff Union
  • OPSEU Local 327 - Peterborough Health Unit Workers
  • Kawartha Pine Ridge ETFO Teachers

About the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund

Inspired by Chanie's story and Gord's call to build a better Canada, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. DWF's work centres around improving the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.

The Legacy Spaces program is an opportunity for organizations large and small to participate in their own reconciliACTIONs, which are simple acts with the power to bring us together in the spirit of reconciliation, sharing, and education. As Gord would say, they inspire us to "Do Something."

For more, visit www.downiewenjack.ca