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Common Reading Program

New in 2019, a common reading program has been introduced into the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities to help students develop their critical reading, thinking and writing. A common reading program is an initiative that offers students a common text that is used across all courses in the common first-year program. These texts are usually timely and tap into issues of social, cultural, and political importance. 

Secret Path

This year's Common Reading Program text is Secret Path, a graphic novel by the late The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and artist and author Jeff Lemire. The text tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died trying to escape the Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School near Kenora, Ontario back in October of 1966. 

  • Do I have to sign up for the Common Reading Program?
    No! All you have to do is attend the first-year courses in which you're registered!
  • Where can I find the text?
    Students can borrow a copy of Secret Path at the library at 61 Charles Street, located at the Downtown Oshawa Campus or at the North Campus Library overlooking the Polonsky Commons. You can also try your neighbourhood library as well. Bookstores such as Chapters and Indigo also carry the book, or you can order it from an online retailer as an e-book.
  • I've read the book, what's next?
    Make sure to check your syllabus as some courses will have assignments based on Secret Path. 
  • Are there any on-campus events related to the Common Reading Program?
    Yes! There are many exciting events related to Secret Path, such as the Dean's Lecture on October 30 featuring Inuk throat singer, artist and author Tanya Tagaq. Ontario Tech's Indigenous Education and Cultural Services Centre also offers many activities throughout the year!