We were most pleased, recently, to welcome walkers from the west. A group of Native men and women set out from Vancouver on June 21st, National Aboriginal Day, planning to walk all the way to Ottawa. By the 29th of August they had reached our neck of the woods, and stayed here for two nights.
These sure-footed travellers belong toa group called Walk4Justice. One of the walkers, Robert, is originally from Nelson House, Manitoba, and now lives in Vancouver. He explained that the goals of the walk were to raise awareness and to protest inaction regarding Native people who have gone missing or have been killed, throughout the country and particularly on the “Highway of Tears” in B.C. They want a national symposium or inquiry to be held on this issue. They were planning to hold an event on Parliament Hill, at the end of the journey. (That event has now taken place, on the 19th of September.)
Here, by the shores of Anderson Lake, they were met by the ASC community and by a women’s hand drum group from M’Chigeeng First Nation. They drummed, prayed, and told stories, and at the end of the day we ate together. One of the walkers, an artist herself – a totem pole carver – was impressed and took photos of some of the artwork here.
Undoubtedly, this courageous and dedicated group faced their daily challenges along the way. Here at the Centre, the day had fallen and some of the group had yet to arrive. Some had to go out and search for the others. It was no easy task, over the thousands of kilometres that they had travelled, and the hundreds that they had still to travel, to keep oneself committed to such a daunting trek. Surely their companionship and their good cause kept them going.
For more information on Walk4Justice, visit: www.fnbc.info/walk4justice