1500 kilometres by foot through the arctic winter: the journey of the nishiyuu nears ottawa

On January 16, 2013, six young Cree men and an experienced guide left their community on Hudson's Bay, in the far north, on foot. Their destination: Parliament Hill, Ottawa. Along their route, other aboriginal youth joined them, and together, now almost 200 strong, they are still walking.

This is the Journey of Nishiyuu, or, the Quest For Unity.

The walkers will reach Ottawa on March 25, having walked more than 1500 kilometres in sub-zero temperatures.

These impressive young people stand in solidarity with Idle No More, and seek to protect their land and their heritage, and to build unity among the indigenous peoples of Canada, and of the world. From their media release:
As our ancestors did before them, the youths will encounter a lot of challenges and hardships along their journey that will attempt to stop them from completing their objectives, including having to confront the elements during the coldest and harshest months in our region.

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.

The Whapmagoostui First Nation greatly applaud this initiative and wish to express our full support and pride in our youths and in our community members for choosing to accept such an incredible challenge that will solidify the bonds between our nation and those of our brothers and sisters across Canada.

The time to stand united is now, we support the Idle No More Movement and respect the duties entrusted upon our Leaders. Through peaceful processes, unity and proper negotiations, we can solidify our rights to ensure the earth and our way of life will be fully protected forever.

Please join us as we pray for a safe journey and return of our youths.
On their website, Journey of Nishiyuu, you can read a blog of their journey, and read more about their quest. If you live near Ottawa, you can welcome the walkers when they arrive.

The blog The Answer Is 42 has posted some helpful maps to help us visualize the journey: here. I really dig this blog's tagline: "Do Justly - Love Mercy - Walk Humbly - Afflict the Oppressor". Another good place to follow the journey is Ahki.

Journey of Nishiyuu is another demonstration of the global movement of indigenous peoples joining together to defend the Rights of Mother Earth.

From the mainstream media, mostly silence.

But this movement is becoming too big to ignore.

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