OTTAWA, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Formerly a faculty member at the University of Ottawa and former surgeon at the Montfort Hospital, Dr. Stanley Vollant will return to Ottawa Saturday, October 4. First Aboriginal surgeon in Québec and probably second in Canada, Dr. Vollant will walk with representatives of the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) as part of the National Day of Remembrance to remember missing or murdered indigenous women.
Dr. Vollant is currently pursuing a journey of 6,000 kilometers on foot and by canoe to go meet of Aboriginal youth. He wants to talk to them about healthy lifestyles, academic perseverance, and the importance of having dreams. This fall, his journey is taking him through Algonquin and Mohawk territories of Témiscamingue, of Outaouais and of eastern Ontario and will lead him through Ottawa on October 4. It was a perfect opportunity to partner with Aboriginal women and the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.Through the Innu Meshkenu project, Dr. Vollant has embarked on a 6000-kilometer journey throughout many Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities of Québec to inspire Aboriginal youth to lead a healthy lifestyle and pursue their dreams.
"I am very pleased that, this year, Dr. Stanley Vollant will be bringing awareness to the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls through his notable project. I am also very pleased that Dr. Vollant, and all who participate in his October 4 walk in Ottawa, will also participate in this walk to show support and solidarity with NWAC on the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls", said NWAC President Michele Audette.
For his part, Dr. Vollant adds:
" I am really pleased to walk with Chief Ghislain Picard and my sisters of the Native Women's Association of Canada. The issue of missing Aboriginal women is close to my heart as well as the future of the youth in our communities for which I fight. The impacts of the Innu Meshkenu walk are already being felt in the communities visited and they give me the energy to continue the journey and support Aboriginal women in their struggle ", says Dr. Vollant.
While in the national capital, Dr. Vollant will also be accompanied by the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Ghislain Picard, who is delighted at the return of the surgeon in Ottawa:
"We support this initiative by Dr. Vollant as the AFN is working to ensure healthy lifestyles and safe and secure communities for all our people. First Nations in Canada have made ending violence against women and children a key priority and tomorrow on National Day of Remembrance for murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada – it will be an honour to walk with Dr. Vollant and many other First Nations citizens to bring awareness for the too many women who have lost their lives to violence and those who remain missing. We will continue our call for a commitment by the Government of Canada for a National Public Commission of Inquiry on the unresolved cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada."
Those interested in walking with Dr. Vollant can join us at the War Museum of Ottawa on October 4, at 10:30 am. The marching contingent will then take the direction of Parliament Hill where speeches will be given. The walk will end at around 2 pm in Victoria Island where Aboriginal ceremonies will be held.
It is also possible to visit www.innu-meshkenu.com to follow Dr. Vollant now descending the Ottawa River in Voyageur canoes toward Ottawa. He will continue his journey down the river until October 5 as far as Clarence-Rockland from where he will walk to get to Cornwall on October 8, and then to the Akwesasne community on the next day.
Walking the Innu Meshkenu, which means "path of all humans, Dr Stanley Vollant wants to meet First Nations people and neighboring communities to inspire and show the way for youths but also to build bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. He wants to walk approximately 6 000 km in 3 steps per year in a project spread over 5 years, to be completed by winter 2016. The Innu Meshkenu project is an initiative of the Centre des Premières Nations Nikanite of Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. For more information on the Innu Meshkenu project or to make a donation, visit www.innu-meshkenu.com
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information: J-Charles Fortin, Coordinator, Innu Meshkenu project, Centre des Premières Nations Nikanite of Université du Quebec à Chicoutimi, Office; 418-545-5011 ext: 2416, Cell : 418-812-0600, [email protected]