The spirit of Nutshimit transposed into a nature-health rally

The course is made up of 15 “question/answer” type posters and a few others including QR codes linked to warm-up, stretching and cardiac coherence activities. Several visual elements were taken from Nutshimitwith the agreement of its creators.

The route extends over several hundred meters along the La Prucheraie and Le Marécage trails, apparently the most visited at CINLB. Holders of a Granby leisure card can discover the rally for free, while people from outside must pay the usual fees at the reception pavilion.

“In our opinion, we really need to make people aware of the importance of natural environments. They only bring benefits for everyone’s health. Doctors are telling us this more and more,” explained Patrick Parent, responsible for this project as president of Ami.es. woodlands of Granby.

His comments were supported by infectious disease microbiologist Mirabelle Kelly, also a member of the group’s health committee.

“Often, the value of woodlands is not taken into account in the calculations to decide on a place to build, for example, a Seniors’ Center. “Laudable things, but which encroach on territory which is the basis of our health.”

Crucial issues

Around them was already a most natural ally in Melissa Mollen Dupuis, who joined the Ami.es. of the woodlands of Granby after her arrival in the region in 2021. In fact, the rally is in a way the extension of a work where the author uses part of the Innu lexicon to transmit traditions and beliefs anchored in her community original. All with a view to raising awareness and protecting the environment.

Passionate and charismatic, Melissa Mollen Dupuis could certainly have explained her convictions to us for hours on Friday. (Stéphane Champagne/La Voix de l’Est)

Through Nutshimitthe native of the Lower North Shore was able to continue a long-standing commitment to the defense of causes that are dear to her.

“I want to fight for the rights of indigenous people, women, children and elders, but what is at the root of all this, who is most in danger? The territory. And what’s the first thing that disappears when the territory is attacked? Human rights. […] It’s an interrelation,” argued, with quite disarming frankness, the one who hosts the show Kuei! Kwe! on the airwaves of ICI Première.

“We have reached the limit of what we can colonize without devouring ourselves.”

The least we can say is that Nutshimit found its audience. The documentary album even ranked fourth among the best sellers in Quebec last year, all categories combined. The English version has also just been honored as part of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards, whose winners are chosen by young Ontario students.

A distinction that comes at rather good time about ten days before National Indigenous Peoples Day.

“At first, I was afraid that Elise would screw up with this project. Basically, she really didn’t need me to come out with a book about forests!”

“Luckily, people bought it and, most importantly, kids put it in their hearts and minds. […] There’s nothing stronger than a story, because it can travel for millennia.”

According to what we have been able to understand, the term “nutshimit” designates both a physical space and a way of conceiving the world, without limits or borders.

Melissa Mollen Dupuis also thanks her colleague, who, in addition to nicely illustrating her point, prevented her from creating “a 400-page brick” which would probably have put off many people. The author and activist found a similar spirit of collaboration in the process surrounding the nature-health rally, which combines scientific and ancestral knowledge with the “living energies” that are the Ami.es des boisés de Granby.

The project was made possible thanks to a financial contribution from Réseau Demain le Québec, a satellite of the David Suzuki Foundation. The posters will remain in place until October 30, after which they could be installed elsewhere in Granby, or even in other Quebec municipalities. Officials have already received a few phone calls on this subject.

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