The Journey of Nishiyuu Arrives in Ottawa

Written by Denise Deby.

Something remarkable happened this week. A group of young Indigenous people arrived in Ottawa after walking more than 1500 km from Whapmagoostui in northern Quebec.

The Cree youth and their guide—Stanley George Jr., Johnny Abraham, David Kawapit, Raymond Kawapit, Geordie Rupert, Travis George, Jordan Masty and Isaac Kawapit—left home in mid-January, facing -50 degree C temperatures and harsh conditions along the way. They also gained increasing support; by the time they reached Ottawa on Monday, March 25, 2013, an estimated 300 walkers had joined them.

Several thousand people greeted them when they reached Victoria Island and then Parliament Hill. People sang, cheered and cried as the walkers spoke in their languages about what inspired them to undertake the journey and how they felt on reaching their destination.

Their goals: to unite Indigenous peoples, draw attention to living conditions, heal, and connect to the land. From The Journey of Nishiyuu website: “This land, the earth, the rivers, the winds, the mountains, the clouds and all of the creation, we are the true keepers and will continue to do so until time on earth is over.”

If there was ever an example of people taking positive action to inspire others and make a difference, it has to be this. You can find out more at Here are a couple of short videos that give a sense of the start of the journey and the walkers’ arrival in Ottawa:

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