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‘Get a different perspective on Innu culture’: Elder preparing for annual trek to Mealy Mountains

Elizabeth Penashue
Elizabeth Penashue - SaltWire Network

Sheshatshiu First Nation Innu elder Elizabeth Penashue of Sheshatshiu First Nation isn’t letting last year’s snowmobile incident deter her from taking to the land for her annual three-week trek to the Mealy Mountains.

Penashue had to cut her trip short in 2018 when she injured her knee after the snowmobile she was a passenger on hit slush and tipped over.

“There was nothing broken... but it swelled up and I couldn’t move (my leg). I was very sad,” the 74-year-old said.

The walk, which she has undertaken for almost 20 years, is all about preserving Innu traditions.

“What I’m doing is very, very important to me. I want to protect the lands and rivers, the environment, animals... And I want to teach the children about our culture,” she said.

Penashue plans on leaving Sheshatshiu on March 1 and is encouraging people to join her for a short distance or for the entire journey.

Brenda Gear, a social worker with the Innu Round Table Secretariat, plans on joining Penashue.

“I’m hoping to go and get a different perspective on Innu culture... the happenings in a tent are very different than it is in an office. So, it’s very important for our programming and for capacity development activities going forward,” Gear said.

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