Sunday, September 21, 2014
Text Size

Teen’s 1,100-km trek promoting Cree unity coming to end in Ottawa



David Kawapit, an 18-year-old Cree from the tiny James Bay community of Whapmagoostui, left his home on Jan. 16 to walk all the way to Ottawa.


It was his way of participating in the Idle No More grassroots movement. On Monday, he will arrive in the nation’s capital, along with his half-dozen original travelling companions and the almost 300 others who joined them along the way.

“The message we wanted to bring was unity with Cree nations,” Mr. Kawapit said in an interview on Sunday. “I wanted to ensure that the next generation of youth have good lives, ones where they don’t have to fight for their native rights.”

During his nearly 10-week journey, Mr. Kawapit endured temperatures that dipped below –50 C and snow storms. But the most difficult thing, he said, was being so far away from his family, including his nine brothers and sisters.

“Every day was a challenge, but I proved to myself I can pass those challenges,” he said. “ It’s really good that everyone’s paying attention.”

Along the way, his group attracted considerable attention both to their journey by foot as well as the native unrest brewing in so many communities.

It was Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike that initially inspired Mr. Kawapit to make his journey to Ottawa.

Whapmagoostui Chief Stanley George helped him prepare for the 1,100-kilometre trip.

Whapmagoostui, also known as Great Whale, is the last Cree community before the Arctic. It is home to more than 900 Cree and located on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay.

Chief George told The Globe and Mail that the most amazing part of the trip was the warm welcome the group received in many communities, especially as they entered non-aboriginal areas of Quebec.

On Saturday, the town of Wakefield, just north of Ottawa, pulled out all the stops to greet the travellers. The town’s 500 residents prepared a hot dinner in the community centre, where the travellers spent the night. It was Wakefield resident Scott Duncan’s idea to provide lodgings and meals for the group. He had been avidly following the group’s journey online.

Chief George said he hopes to join the group for the final 15-kilometre leg of their journey on Monday, when they travel from the community of Chelsea to Ottawa. But he said he got blisters after walking 12 kilometres on Saturday with them.

“It just showed me the strength and courage these young people have,” he said.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins