The rain didn’t deter any of the “Our Dreams Matter Too” participants, who walked from the Kanhiote Library on the corner of the York Rd and Airport Rd. to the post office in Deseronto on Wednesday June 11th . Participants included employees of MBQ programs and services, some Quinte Mohawk School students and their parents, Kawenna on:we Immersion School, and other Tyendinaga community members.
The route had three check points. The walkers left the Kanhiote Public Library at 9:30 am, they picked up more walkers at the Band Office/First Nations Technical Institute, the 59ers Club, and L & M Variety to finally make their way to the post office in Deseronto to mail letters to the Prime Minister of Canada.
The children from Kawenna on:we Immersion school got so wet they asked parents to bring an extra set of clothing. Seemingly, unfazed by the rain Dehawennageh Kunkel said, “It was fun, we jumped in puddles.” According to APTN the walk began after the federal government apologized to First Nation’s people for the residential schools. A 10 year old young lady from the APTN report Mia Leach had this to say, “when you say it (sorry) you should do something about it, sorry just isn’t a word, it’s an action.”
“Our Dream’s Matter Too” is a walk for culturally-based and equitable education for First Nation’s children across Canada. The walk is part of an overall strategy to invite the federal government to recognize their moral and fiduciary responsibility to education in Canada for First Nations children.
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada started the walk three years ago to support three movements for First Nation’s children; Shannen’s Dreams, Jordan’s Principle and I am a witness.
In 2008, Shannen Koostachin spoke on the steps of Parliament Hill about her educational experiences in Attawapiskat. She spoke to the media, at conferences, and to just about anyone who would listen. At the age of 14, in 2009, she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Shannen’s remarkable life was tragically cut short by a car accident on May 30, 2010.
Jordan River Anderson, Norway House First Nation, died from Carey Fineman Ziter Syndrome. This rare muscular disorder took 5 year old Jordon’s life in 2005. Instead of spending his final years at home with his family he was forced to die in the hospital, 800 miles away, because the federal and provincial government disagreed over financial obligations, thus the Jordon Principle was born.
The Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations filed a human rights complaint against the federal government in 2007. The “I am a witness” campaign asks anyone to watch the case to be a witness to the validity of the human rights complaint against the federal government concerning the treatment of First Nation’s children and youths. If you are interested in this case go to http://www.fncaringsociety.ca/i-am-witness to find a comprehensive timeline with background information and the various legal submissions by all parties concerned. If you would like to make a donation or get involved visit http://www.fncaringsociety.com/our-dreams-matter-too, all donations can be made to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.