On Sunday March 23rd the Chelsea community will remember and celebrate the arrival of the Nishiyuu walkers in Chelsea one year ago. Events will include a symbolic walk by members of the community -on skis, on snowshoes, or on foot, and a potluck dinner and bonfire at the Meredith Centre. First Nation special guests will be joining the celebration, including one of the original walkers, David Kawapit, and Chief Stanley George both of whom are coming all the way from Whapmagoostui on the shores of Hudson Bay where the Journey began a year ago.
The walk will start at Larrimac on the railway ski trail, and proceed to Chelsea village. As was the case for the original walk, along the way people will join the group as it progresses. Those unable to participate in the walk are welcome to join the festivities in Chelsea. The walk will end at the Meredith Centre with a bonfire and potluck dinner. This will be accompanied by film and slides of last year s Journey and will give an opportunity for First Nations guests and the community to talk about what the Journey of the Nishiyuu meant to them. A cash bar will be available.
The organizing committee is looking for volunteers to assist with walk logistics or to contribute to the pot luck dinner.
Those interested in helping with walk logistics should contact:
Robin McNeill at [email protected]
For details on where and when to drop off your potluck contribution, please contact: Sheila Strickland at [email protected]
Details of the timing and route for the walk , as well as other event information will be available shortly on the Chelsea municipal website:http://www.chelsea.ca
What we are celebrating:
According to Cree legends all creatures in the natural Kingdom foresaw the birth of a new species that would one day roam the Earth. They referred to this new species as Nishiyuu , which means human beings. The term has a complex and deeper meaning which includes the interconnectedness of all life, as well as the oneness of time within which all life begins and ends. The Cree call themselves Nishiyuu to distinguish them from their relatives in the Natural Kingdom. As such, it refers to all humanity.
The Journey of Nishiyuu walkers began with six young people wanting to make a difference. Accompanied by a spiritual guide they headed out into the bush on foot in January, 2013 from the tiny community of Whapmagoostui on the shores of Hudson Bay. Their journey ended two and a half months later on the steps of Parliament Hill, with more than two thousand people – Nishiyuu – gathered in support.
Inspired by Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat and the Idle No More movement, the aim of the Journey of Nishiyuu was to raise awareness of the problems facing the people of Canada s First Nations. This was a goal that was achieved on both the national and international stage.
Not only did it capture the imagination of the country, it provided inspiration to young and old alike. The walkers showed us that if you want to make a difference, stand up and start the journey. In setting a goal and not stopping until that goal was achieved, these young Canadians demonstrated to young people everywhere that they, too, can make a difference.
The Journey of the Nishiyuu showed Chelsea how quickly a community can come together in support of a good cause. Like all the communities along the Journey s route, we proved ourselves to be a welcoming community. Local issues were cast aside as people rolled up their sleeves and worked together to ensure that the walkers enjoyed a warm welcome.
It truly was a community-building experience. One that Chelsea hopes will serve as an inspiration for the future.