UOI OFFICES (NIPISSING FN), March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the
Anishinabek Nation, Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee is congratulating the Nishiyuu Walkers on their safe arrival
in Ottawa Monday after a 1,600km trek.
"It is with great pride that I acknowledge these incredible young people
to our territory and on behalf of the Anishinabek Nation I say
Chi-Miigwetch for your dedication, determination and unified spirit,"
said the Grand Council Chief. "This sort of strength shows Canada that
First Nations are a force to be reckoned with."
The "Journey of the Nishiyuu" - which translates into Cree as "The
Journey of the People" - began in mid-January in the remote village of
Whapmagoostui, Que., located on the shores of the Hudson Bay. The
original seven-person group picked up hundreds of supporters along the
way, many of whom marched into the capital with them Monday. Organizers
say around 270 walkers finished the journey to Ottawa.
"I couldn't imagine the struggles they overcame to walk that far under
those conditions," said Madahbee. "Their message was simple - to create
unity amongst First Nations people.
"We owe a great deal of gratitude to these young people who have
inspired us with their determination, while we face a government that
simply refuses to consult with First Nations people on ways we can work
together to make the future better for everyone in Canada. As I
understand it, the Prime Minister was invited to greet the walkers just
outside his office on Parliament Hill, but he chose to spend taxpayers'
money to fly to Toronto and have his picture taken with Panda bears
Madahbee continued to challenge Prime Minister Harper on his lack of
commitment to resolving First Nations issues.
"He wouldn't meet with our leaders after Chief Spence risked her life in
a hunger strike and he won't meet with our youth after they walked
1,600kms in the spirit of unity. Sooner or later Stephen Harper will
understand that First Nations people will not stop when it comes to
fighting for recognition of our rights.
"This government always claims it's doing more for First Nations than
any other government, but in reality they've done more harm than good.
Our dedicated young people like the Nishiyuu Walkers are doing more for
our people than any government."
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
For further information:
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone: 705-497-9127 ext. 2290
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