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Idle No More inspires Quest For Unity

John Bell

March 23, 2013

Inspired by the upsurge of First Nations activism under the banner of Idle No More, six young people and a guide from the Cree Nation of Quebec set out to walk from their home on Hudson Bay to Ottawa, 1500km away. This is the Journey of Nishiyuu, the Quest For Unity.
These are the names of the warriors who left the community of Whapmagoostui on January 17: Stanley George Jr., Johnny Abraham, David Kawapit, Raymond Kawapit, Geordie Rupert, Travis George and Isaac Kawapit (guide). Their amazing journey was designed to strengthen their connection to the land, and to unite with other First Nations, through whose territory they would pass. Although all but ignored by Canada’s mainstream media, tens of thousands around the world “followed” them as they used the internet to report on their trek.
At each community they passed through more walkers joined them. As they neared Ottawa the walkers numbered in the hundreds.
In an open letter to all First Nations people they warn of the government’s plan: “Eventually, they will assimilate you and your children will have nothing left for their children. Part of their plan is to remove you from the reservations and place everyone into the cities because they need your land as no one will have the right to decide what happens to land and the natural resources other than the governing authorities. They are ready to do anything to force you off your lands.”
The purpose of the walk is to forge unity, as explained in a press release: “By facing these challenges that our people are subjected to everyday, our youths will reinforce the traditional bonds that existed between the Cree Nation and our historical allies by restoring the traditional trade routes that linked the Cree, Algonquin, Mohawk and other First Nations throughout Turtle Island for the betterment of future generations.”
Indigenous stewardship of the land, and unity among peoples–both are threats to the Tory agena and both deserve everyone’s support when the walkers reach Ottawa.

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