Serpent River First Nation – Chief Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini, candidate for Ontario Regional Chief wishes to extend a gesture of acknowledgement to the Sachigo Lake Walkers and their “Journey of New Beginnings” initiative.
Members of Sachigo Lake First Nation set out from their community April 7, with a goal of walking to Thunder Bay. The 1000km walk was in no way a small feat, nor was it intimidating to the walkers – their goal was for their people.
This being the third walk Sachigo Lake has spearheaded, the first being in 2011. The journey is a “walk the talk” initiative that demonstrates determination, commitment and results. “The integrity and dedication demonstrated to community, is an example to us all,” says Chief Isadore Day of Serpent River First Nation.
First Nation communities are no stranger to two obvious issues -‐ need and lack of funding. “The service and funding gap between First Nations and mainstream Canada for basic things like water, housing and education is not only alarming,” says Day, “it is shameful for a country that entered into treaties with our peoples that were about sharing in the wealth and bounty of the land. The money raised by these walkers and the awareness created should wake us up and motivate us to make similar efforts for our people.”
Chief Day says that he intends on attending communities in many regions throughout Ontario in the next several weeks to continue learning more from First Nation leaders and their communities. His goal is to ensure that he has information from First Nations and their leaders. “Most importantly,” he says, “the people on the ground have the clearest perception about what the issues are – I intend on creating a Northern Journal that will help me bring issues to the forefront that often appear out of sight and out of mind in the more remote communities.”
“The strength of our nations is our people. If we can multiply and take the Sachigo Lake Walkers as the benchmark for action – then we are in good shape. Our people once walked in this manner to ensure vitality of the people. This truly is an example of honoring our ancestors, our people and future generations. I wish to extent my appreciation to them for their example and would like to meet with them during my “Securing Our Future” campaign,” added Chief Day.
Day is expected to convene a webcast in weeks to come with Northern First Nation Youth and leaders under the theme “Securing Our Future.”