Thursday, July 10, 2014
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First Nations walkers arrive in Ottawa

 By Carys Mills, OTTAWA CITIZEN

OTTAWA — A group of First Nations people who have walked an average of 30 kilometres daily since early this year will bring their message to Parliament on Monday.

The Omushkegowuk walkers began their journey Jan. 4 in Attawapiskat and reached Ottawa on Sunday.

On average, there are about six walkers involved each day, trying to bring attention to First Nations issues, including treaty agreements, housing, suicide rates, and missing and murdered aboriginal women.

On Monday, the group will gather with others at the human rights monument at Elgin and Lisgar streets before marching to Parliament Hill.

On Friday night, walker Danny Metatawabin posted on Facebook that the group had reached Arnprior and would rest there before continuing to Ottawa with friends and family.

“Despite the rain falling down upon us, and with the transport trucks rolling by every so often feeling like we were going to be splashed or blown away, we still continued to walk with our Spirits and Energies high,” Metatawabin wrote.

Ottawa police asked motorists to be careful around the walkers, including youth, along Old Highway 17 and regional roads west of Ottawa. Police said some people have walked 1,700 kilometres.

Last year, Nishiyuu walkers reached Ottawa in March after leaving a small Quebec community in mid-January.

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