"Respect For Our Children" - A Father Walks to Ottawa

The following is a Press Release from Calvin Skead, a father of four children from Wauzhushk Onigum Nation, outside Kenora, Ontario. He is walking to Ottawa to create awareness of past injustices inflicted on First Nation children across this land. A group of people including many children greeted Calvin as he arrived in Dinorwic Thursday, August 29, 2002 just after 1pm (see the pictures of this stop). “CREATING AN AWARENESS: RESPECT FOR OUR CHILDREN” Since time immemorial my ancestors secured for my great grandchildren and their great grandchildren the land base of Wauzhushk Onigum territory. It is the same vision of protection for those yet to be born that I am now walking to Ottawa. This journey began on the morning of August 22, 2002 from Pow Wow Island in Wauzhushk Onigum. I wish to create an awareness of past injustices inflicted on First Nations children by foreign laws designed to assimilate Aboriginal Nations. Many of us survived the ordeal of assimilation policies that were forced on us but many children did not. Hundreds of children succumbed to these injustices. It is those children’s lost lives that I am honouring on this journey. They are the ones that will prevent further destruction and assault on our Nations. They are the ones that will bring a constant reminder to what foreign laws can do. This journey will remind all people and governments that First Nations have traditional laws and structures that included a complex child welfare law. The past must be acknowledged because it is being repeated through the proposed Governance Act. My intent and focus is not the governance act itself but rather what it represents and signifies. The Governance Act will restrict our efforts in reviving our own laws regarding child care issues. This Governance Act will conflict with our own traditional child welfare laws and will ultimately decide the strength and continuance of our Nationhood. I ask all people to write messages denouncing the Governance Act and to support our traditional laws. It is important that these messages be wrapped in red ribbon to be picked up by me along my journey so I may deliver them to Ottawa. Our traditional people must be approached to help everyone understand the implementation of traditional laws as they were intended by the Creator. Our children need the hope for a better tomorrow. "RESPECT FOR OUR CHILDREN" Headquarters Contact Number 807-548-4106. Donations are greatly appreciated and can be made as follows: Respect the Children’s Fund Account # 1191136 Transit # 787 Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce 111 Main St. South, Kenora, ON P9N 1T1 Contact: Marina Meeks 807-468-8933 ext. 226