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First Nations Expedition: Day 6 | Messengers of Reconciliation

Today, on February 1st, we departed from Lebel-sur-Quévillon towards Pikogan, an Algonquin community of 700 inhabitants near Amos. This time, I want to introduce you to three inspiring individuals who are part of the First Nations Expedition. Several generations separate them, but they come together to convey the important message of the reconciliation of peoples.

So, let me introduce you to Ethan Mckenzie Fontaine (Innu), Angèle Petiquay (Atikamekw Nehirowisiw), and Rose-Anna Niquay (Atikamekw Nehirowisiw).

Ethan Mckezie Fontaine (left), Rose-Anna Niquay (centre) et Angèle Petiquay (right)

Angèle Petiquay

Angèle is 63 years old and hails from Manawan. She lost three brothers, two of them at birth. Her mother saw them after giving birth and breastfed them. But they suddenly disappeared a few days later while she was still in the hospital. The third brother was found in a river with suspicious injuries, along with four other bodies. These five people were last seen boarding a van with white individuals. They refer to this event as the Tragedy of 1977.

Rose-Anna Niquay

Rose-Anna is also 63 years old. She tells me she comes from the forest. She was taken from her parents and placed in a residential school at the age of four for no reason. Later in life, she experienced sexual assaults in her foster family. Her son has been missing for several years, and she has never been able to lay him to rest to this day. She, too, was affected by the Tragedy of 1977.

Ethan Mckenzie Fontaine

As for Ethan, he is an 18-year-old young man from the Uashat mak Maliotenam community. He is undertaking the First Nations Expedition to represent the youth and inspire them to accomplish things that may seem impossible to them.

Tomorrow is a day off for us. The visit to a former residential school is scheduled, along with a sharing circle. It is expected to be very rich in emotion.

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