A group of women are hanging around on the side of a cracked highway, framed on either side by dense pine forest. They chatter loudly against the roar of passing trucks, drinking coffee and dragging on cigarettes. A few are texting Facebook updates on their smart phones. One carries a stick decorated with ribbons and eagle feathers.
These women have just walked about 300 miles from Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, an Innu reservation in the northern wastes of Quebec, Canada. They’re on their way to Montreal to join Earth Day protests against the Quebec government’s multibillion-dollar plans to open the north of the province to mining and energy companies.