All Photos by Brandon White

 taken on July 2, 2020 to document
Tristen Durocher & Chris Merasty (of Men of the North)
as they walk from La Ronge to the Regina Legislature.
Updates: Walking with Our Angels on Facebook 
#yanawansca on Twitter

Durocher was joined by friends, family, public figures, and press on Thursday to begin his 600km Walk for Hope, which is a form of protest against the Saskatchewan Government’s unanimous down-voting of Cumberland MLA Doyle Vermette’s legacy ‘Anti-Suicide Bill’.

Traditional Ribbon Skirts

Smiling: Tristen’s Grandmother Laura Durocher and Great Grandmother Emily Cummings.

Cumberland MLA Doyle Vermette (NDP) was on scene and delivered a speech on civic engagement, hope, and change. Seen here welcoming a member of an Albertan Drum Group who travelled to perform.

The blackflies were out to support – Vermette showing off a northern innovation to Marlee Proulx and son.

Recently re-elected Chief Tammy Cook-Searson was present, and spoke candidly about her past experiences with losing loved ones.

Chief Cook-Searson with Chris Merasty (left) – of Men of the North ; with Tristen Durocher (right)

Durocher is a Metis Polymath: fiddle-player, singer/songwriter, poet, photographer, and advocate for Change. He says he will perform on the steps of the Legislature upon completing his Walk, then commence a hunger strike until decisive action is taken to address Suicide in Saskatchewan.

Context: the Saskatchewan Government released its Roots of Hope, community-based Suicide Prevention Plan in May of 2020. Critics say the ‘Plan’ lacks the funding and teeth of legislation.

Durocher (right) will be joined on his walk sporadically by friends (left, Myles Cook), family (below), and the public when they attend–the Walk is open and inclusive.

Family: Laura Durocher (right of Tristen), Adrienne Durocher, Zoey Petit, Proulx boys + Chris Merasty

Tristen and his mom, Adrienne Durocher. Marlene Nicholls taking photo (left), Chief Tammy Cook-Searson (right)

Men of the North’s Chris Merasty will join Durocher on his 600 km Walk for Hope as a security Escort. He carries a Flag that he says represents Hope, and a cross that Represents Sacrifice. Seen here photographing performers.

Chief Tammy Cook-Searson kneels with Emily Cummings.

The Cross was made in Buffalo Narrows within two days of the Walk’s outset.

The Northern Cree Drum Group, who played at the 2017 Grammys pre-show, were present to preform traditional drum songs in the walk’s opening ceremony.

Residents of Air Ronge said they could hear the drumming ring out in the pre-storm air.

The walk officially began at 10:38 AM on Thursday, July the 2nd, 2020.

Thundershowers followed in the afternoon.

They kept walking.

At the end of Day 1, the Walkers were at the Creighton Junction, roughly 39 kilometers from where they set out.

Photo: Tristen Durocher, Chris Merasty with partner Kristianna Merasty, Dennis Caplett, Myles Cook.