Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Attawapiskat First Nation members marching to Ottawa

By Rick Owen, KL Northern News

KIRKLAND LAKE - A group from Attawapiskat First Nation walked through Kenogami on Saturday as they make their way to Ottawa.

Dan Metatawabin, spokesman for the walkers said, the walk is an attempt to send a message to both the federal and provincial governments that it is time to honour treaty rights and it is time to start a dialogue.

The group is 11 walkers and two guides left Attawapiskat at 8:20 a.m. Jan 4, and the goal is to arrive in Ottawa the last week of February. They walk about 30 kilometres a day and usually stay with host First Nations along their journey.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who gained notoriety for a hunger strike she staged in Ottawa, is one of the walkers headed to Ottawa.

Metawabin said they have been fortunate to receive a lot of support from host communities and they usually spend a few days in the host community. While in the Kirkland Lake area they are being hosted by Matachawan and Beaverhouse First Nations.

Their next stop will be in Temagami where they will be hosted by Bear Island First Nation and then North Bay where Nipissing First Nation will host them.

Metatawabin noted that they have a Facebook page, called Reclaim our Steps, past present and future. He updates this on a regular basis as the group continues its walk to Ottawa.

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