On January 16, six young Cree men, led by an experienced guide, departed from their community of Great Whale on the Hudson Bay to begin the Journey of Nishiyuu (Quest For Unity), a trek that will take them across 1,100 km in sub-zero temperatures to reach Parliament Hill, Ottawa, the home of Canada’s federal government.
These youth seek to unite the First Nations of Canada by traveling the traditional trade routes of the Cree, Algonquin, and Mohawk. And it is being done amidst the growing Idle No More movement, where indigenous people across Canada and the world are demanding their rights and sovereignty.
“They will walk,” says Chief Stan George, “to deliver a strong message to other First Nations across Canada that the Cree Nation of Quebec are not sell-outs but true keepers of their language, culture, traditions, and more importantly today, that the Cree Nation continues to respect the sacred laws of our ancestors. The time to stand united is now, we support the Idle No More movement and respect the duties entrusted upon our leaders.”
From seven that left originally, now 170 warriors are marching to Parliament, with less than two weeks left.
Harper, can you hear their drums and feel the power of the growing numbers?