Idle No More supports Nishiyuu Walkers
March 27, 2013

As the bears are coming out of hibernation so is the Idle No More movement in Hastings County. On Saturday, March 23 the group held its first fundraiser of the season at a residence on Hastings Street South. The group plans to continue raising awareness throughout the community of aboriginal and environmental issues of concern to the region and the planet.  

“There are so many eco-conscious people in the area,” said Idle No More Hastings County organizer Theresa Eagles.

“Friday was International Water Day, today is Seedy Saturday and tonight is Earth Hour. Earth Day is almost here. There is so much going on locally and globally at the moment, and really we are all working for the same things: a cleaner environment, better food and clean water.”

The funds raised by the garage sale was used to send members of the Idle No More Hastings County group to Ottawa on Monday, March 25 to welcome a group of Cree youth activists who have been walking from their reserve in northern Quebec all the way to Parliament Hill. “People need to know that Idle No More Hastings County is not going anywhere but it’s all about the walkers right now,” said Eagles.

The local Idle No More group has been focusing their time and energy of late on helping the walkers, who are referred to as Nishiyuu, achieve their goal by bringing awareness to their campaign. What makes the quest of the Nishiyuu even more remarkable are the ages of the organizers. Six of the original seven individuals who started the quest are under 20 years of age with the exception of their adult guide Isaac Kawapit. The original six youth are Geordie Rupert,  Travis George, Stanley George Jr.,  Johnny Abraham,  David Kawapit and Raymond Kawapit. Eagles, who has been in contact with the original seven Nishiyuu, said that as the group nears Parliament Hill their numbers have now grown to exceed 300 individuals. “They have come on such an incredible journey,” Eagles said. 

“I am honoured by them and humbled by them. These young people are walking more than 1,500 kilometres. There is one young walker who is just four years of age named David who has been walking for the final 100 kilometres. It’s truly amazing.”

Their walk began from their homes in Whapmagoostui, Que., on the coast of Hudson Bay back on Jan. 16. 

The Nishiyuu claim that their quest is driven by their desire to make the world a better place for others. 

Their goal is to protect the people, their cultural heritage, and the land. 

Throughout their journey they have stated that they are guided by their ancestral teachings of courage, honesty, humility, compassion, respect, sharing and wisdom.

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