By Michael Boriero
Martin Lusignan and André Smith, two local business owners in the Eastern Townships, have been selected to take part in the 2022 First Nations Expedition, a 4,800 km snowmobile journey through Northern Quebec.
There are roughly 60 participants in the expedition, which starts in mid-February. The adventure-seekers will begin their journey in Maliotenam, head up through Schefferville to Kuujjuaq, then over to Chisasibi, and finish off at the community of Manawan.
This year’s First Nations Expedition is in honour of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw mother of seven who died last year at Joliette Hospital following repeated taunts and insults from staff. However, it is also being used as an awareness campaign.
The participants will be raising awareness on missing and murdered indigenous women and children, as well as residential school victims. But prior to taking off on the expedition, Lusignan and Smith wanted to hold a fundraiser in the Townships.
They decided to hold a car rally on Sept. 11, with participants driving through 10 stops between Bedford and Farnham. According to Patrick Fontaine, an English teacher at Massey-Vanier High School, there were 75 cars involved in the event.
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