Spirit Walkers Finish Journey and Share Successes

Spirit Walkers at the Fort William First Nation sign after crossing the James Street Bridge.
Spirit Walkers at the Fort William First Nation sign after crossing the James Street Bridge.


THUNDER BAY – The Spirit Walkers have completed their 2018 journey. The core group of ten walkers from Long Lake #58 and Gingoogaming First Nation started their 370-kilometre journey from Long Lake 58 and traveled down the highway, through Helen Lake, Nipigon, and into Thunder Bay arriving at their final finishing point on Fort William First Nation.

The Walk was a success, as it brought the issues to the forefront, brought people together, and shared the culture and teachings of First Nations people.

Walk Organizer Allan Towetishig
Walk Organizer Allan Towetishig

Each day of the walk was based on a specific theme. The Healing Walk seeks to replace despair with hope, and the walkers feel that their efforts were a success. They are already, as Organizer and Elder Allan Towetishig told NetNewsLedger, planning next year’s walk. The walk brought in added walkers for parts of the journey from other First Nations.

Tabitha Johnson Bouchard is the water carrier for the walk and is from Seine River First Nation in Treaty Three
Tabitha Johnson Bouchard is the water carrier for the walk and is from Seine River First Nation in Treaty Three
Water is vital on the walk - Keeping hydrated makes it possible in the heat and in Saturday's humidity to walk
Water is vital on the walk – Keeping hydrated makes it possible in the heat and in Saturday’s humidity to walk

In Thunder Bay at City Hall, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, and Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum were on hand. DGC Achneepineskum joined the walkers leaving City Hall.

These walks are important. They share the culture, traditional teachings, and teach the Seven Grandfather Teachings to the Walkers and let them share what they learned on the walk with others.

Looking to the future, the walk is planned to shift dates starting in June and finishing on July 1st in Thunder Bay. There was also discussion, started today when Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler spoke to the walkers at City Hall.

The Grand Chief commented that many walks arrive in Thunder Bay and that it would be an idea that a future walk starts in Thunder Bay and finish in the First Nation communities.

Spirit Walkers at the Fort William First Nation sign after crossing the James Street Bridge.
Spirit Walkers at the Fort William First Nation sign after crossing the James Street Bridge.