Cree Woman Walks Coast To Coast To Spark Talk On Lateral Violence

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Isabel Okanese (front), who is Oji-Cree, is no stranger to lateral violence. She grew up hearing she didn't look or sound native and that her Cree teachings were wrong. (Kelly Nakatsuka/CBC) Isabel Okanese (front), who is Oji-Cree, is no stranger to lateral violence. She grew up hearing she didn’t look or sound native and that her Cree teachings were wrong. (Kelly Nakatsuka/CBC)

By Wawmeesh G. Hamilton | CBC News

A Victoria woman is literally taking steps to raise awareness about lateral violence among First Nations, non-status and Métis peoples.

This week Isabel Okanese began a cross-country walk at Mile Zero in Victoria, B.C., and will end it more than 6,000 kilometres away in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The walk started on May 5 and is expected to end in October.

The walk is called Miyo-wicehtowin which is Cree for “living in harmony together”. The intent is to spark discussion about lateral violence within First Nations communities.

“Lateral violence is a very big problem. It covers a lot of areas and stems from colonization,” said Okanese, who is Oji-Cree, from central Alberta.

Lateral violence can be defined as…

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