A group of young people from the James Bay Cree community of Whapmagoostui, Que., has arrived at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, ending a 1,600-kilometre trek meant to bring attention to aboriginal issues.
Six youths and a guide left Whapmagoostui in January to snowshoe and walk to Ottawa in support of the Idle No More movement. They called the trek "The Journey of Nishiyuu," which means "The Journey of the People" in Cree.
The group now numbers nearly 400, according to volunteers and Gatineau police, after other children and youth from Cree and Algonquin communities joined them along the way. Thousands of people joined them on Monday afternoon at Parliament Hill as their journey came to an end.
Ah, it brings up the ancient traditions, when young men, as their fathers and grandfathers before them, would band up to venture into the trackless void, there to seek the wisdom of their gods, to commune with nature, on a spiritual quest through the endless wilderness until they finally arrive at the sacred place known as Ot-ta-wa; where rumor has it, the Great White Mother will grant them all sorts of wampum, or at least busfare back home. Kind of brings a lump to your throat.