Council of Canadians and CEP join Nishiyuu walkers in solidarity today
OTTAWA – Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union President Dave Coles and Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow will join the Nishiyuu walkers as they complete their 1500-kilometre journey on Victoria Island at noon today.
Coles and Barlow will raise concerns that the recent federal budget contains continued efforts to extinguish Aboriginal land and title, which is among the key issues that sparked Idle No More and the Journey of Nishiyuu in the first place. Because it is protected under Section 35 of the Constitution, Aboriginal land & title is a key obstacle to oil, gas and mining companies keen on relentless expansion at the expense of Indigenous peoples, workers rights, and the environment.
“This long march is a monumental effort to unite First Nations and promote their language, culture and tradition,” says Coles. “We can all take a page from their book. Their actions are inspiring and should teach us all a lesson in community-building, resistance and strength.”
“I am truly inspired by the Nishiyuu Walkers and their call for unity among First Nations and Canadians,” says Barlow. “We fully support the preservation of the Cree language, culture and tradition. And we now need to work together more than ever to protect the earth for our generation and future generations.”
The walk started in the context of the Idle No More movement and has grown from seven to over 150 young people. The original group of seven youth has been making its way through Cree and Algonquin lands and their journey culminates on Parliament Hill today.
More information about the Journey of Nishiyuu can be found at: http://nishiyuujourney.ca/