Freddy Jolly says enough is enough. The Rupert’s River diversion must be stopped and he is looking for support from as many people as he can to help him in his quest.
Jolly, a Nemaska trapper, will be leaving his home on August 2. He will trek 456 kilometres to Wemindji, where he will be trying to raise awareness of the impact the Rupert’s River diversion will have on trappers like himself.
“What I was supposed to do came to me while I was in the bush in January. I’ve walked for other things like diabetes before. There are a lot of things we can walk for and this is a very important one,” he said.
He figures if he walks 40 kilometres a day, he’ll get to Wemindji by August 17, just in time for the Grand Council’s Annual General Assembly. Once he gets there, he hopes to gain support from Robert Weistche, Abraham Rupert and Josie Jimiken, the three Chiefs who oppose the Paix des Braves agreement.
Jolly admits that although he’s walking for everyone, Native as well as non-native, he does have personal reasons for the walk as well. “Our trapline will be the most affected (by the diversion). Hydro and SEBJ told me that.”
Jolly went on to say that people are starting to re-think their support for the project. “I’ve been talking to people who are changing their minds. I heard hydro wants to sell the electricity to the U.S., are we giving up our rivers only for them to turn around and make more money in the states?”
Jolly will be joined near Wemindji by Eric Gagnon, the president of the Rupert’s River reverence, a group that has been fighting against the damming of the River.
“We welcome people of all races to come and join our fight,” he said.
For more information or to join the Rupert walk, call Freddy Jolly at 1-819-673-2545 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org