home NEWS Earth Day 2015 – 25th Anniversary of the Odeyak

Earth Day 2015 – 25th Anniversary of the Odeyak

Yesterday was an inspiring day to honour an inspiring and heroic
voyage. Earth Day, April 22, marked the 25th anniversary of the
journey of the Odeyak from Whapmagoostui to New York City. Youth delegates Elders
along with past and present Cree leaders from all corners of Eeyou Istchee
gathered together at Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute (ACCI) to
commemorate and celebrate the remarkable effort of the Inuit and Cree peoples
to stop the damming of the Great Whale River.  

Daniel Bosum Sr.

The day was launched with a warm welcome from Joshua Iserhoff, Youth
Grand Chief of the Cree Nation Youth Council, ACCI’s president Abel Bosum &
Willie Iserhoff, Director of Culture for the Cree Nation Government. A beautiful
blessing from elder Daniel Bosum Sr. and opening hand drum song from Redfern
Mianscum set the tone for the day.

Original paddles from the Odeyak voyage were reunited with the
watercraft. One paddle coming from Vermont, donated by Dr. Hans Carlson, and
the others coming from Eastmain, donated by CBC’s own Christopher Herodier. We
thank them for their generous donation; the paddles will become part of the
permanent collection at ACCI.

Odeyak Paddlers & Nishiyuu Walkers

The day was not only a day of commemoration, youth empowerment and
environmental stewardship, but also day of celebration! CBC North’s Christopher
Herodier broadcast live from Aanischaaukamikw during the lunch hubbub for his
radio show Eyou Dipajimoon, when delegates and participants had a chance to
mingle, chat with old friends and meet new ones. After lunch Powwow dancer
Darren Saganash danced as the Waseshkun Drummers from Waswanipi filled the Billy
Diamond Hall with the heartbeat of the drum. Lloyd Cheechoo, Richard Bosum,
& Diane Bosum sang beautiful songs for us. Christopher Herodier made an
impromptu performance with some great tunes. The day ended fittingly with a
stunning vocal performance from rising star Miriame Hasni. 

The Cree Nation Youth Council and ACCI could not have realized this
important regional event without the generous support from the Cree Nation
Government’s Department of Culture, the Ministry of Culture of Quebec, Air
Creebec, Cree Outfitters and Tourism Association, Cree Native Arts and Crafts
Association, and Ouj
e-Bougoumou Cree First Nation. 


Nick Wapachee in line at the feast
Elder’s at the feast
Matthew Mukash
Nick Wapachee, Miriame Hasni

Odeyak Cake

Willie Iserhoff, Matthew Mukash, Sarah Pash & Able Bosum

Stella Masty Bearskin & Abel Bosum