Ottawa filmmaker Andrée Cazabon has partnered with the Oji-Cree youth of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nations to bring 25 young Canadians to the remote fly-in community in northern Ontario. The youth extended their invitation April 26 to the Canadian public to experience their community and learn about their way of life, their struggles and their triumphs.
The participants will leave Toronto June 17 and spend five days immersed in the local culture with activities such as storytelling, fishing in Big Trout Lake, and visiting Elders and schoolchildren. KI Deputy Chief Darryl Sainnawap said, “We want people to see our challenges, but also the good things about living here.”
“This is a way to build friendships between Canadians of different cultures and also fight racism,” Cazabon said. After shedding light on the tough living conditions of Aboriginal children in her 2010 film, Third World Canada, the filmmaker has been touring southern Ontario to drum up support for First Nations’ causes in the region.
The trip culminates on National Aboriginal Day, June 21. Many high-profile figures have been invited to the event, including federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and members of the original seven Nishiyuu Walkers. The cost of the trip for each participant is $2,800, which covers the flight, food and extras.