The Journey of Nishiyuu, which arrived in Ottawa earlier this week, was not the only trek for justice led by young Indigenous people in Canada.
Twenty Indigenous youth from Manitoba have set out from the steps of the Legislative building in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
For the group, Youth for Lakes, this was the beginning of a 2000 kilometre trek to Parliament Hill in Ottawa that will take them an estimated 45 days.
“They’re doing this for the waters, for the next generations,” Melinda Thomas, the mother of one of the organizers, told rabble.ca.
Melinda’s son, 15 year old Victor Thomas, is part of the group trekking to Ottawa. In Februrary, Victor Thomas led a group of young people from the Skownan First Nation in Manitoba on a walk of more than 300 kilometres to protest the federal government’s Bill C-45. That week-long journey ended in the provincial capital of Winnipeg. Now Youth for Lakes, who say they drew inspiration from the Idle No More movement, will make the longer journey on to Ottawa.
“These young people, showing great leadership and bravery, should be commended for doing their part in protecting Mother Earth,” Skownan First Nation Chief Cameron Catcheway told the Interlake Enterprise.
The 2000 km trek will pass through a number of towns, including Kenora and Sault Saint Marie, on route to Ottawa.
In total, this is the fourth journey for Youth For Lakes. Previous walks included youth from Hollow Water, Jackhead and Skownan First Nations.