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Edmund Metatawabin

A Sustainable Way of Living Evolved Over Millennia

Date:February 2013
Location:Canada

Edmund Metatawabin, former chief of the Peetabeck First Nation on James Bay, who grew up within a sustainable lifestyle that persisted for 10,000 years, and who strives to preserve its values and knowledge.

The oldest of 11 children, Edmund Metatawabin—the last name means “Ten Sunrises”—was born and raised in the valley of the Kistachowan Sipi, re-named in English as the Fort Albany River, in northern Ontario. His family lived as the Mushkegowuk (Lowlands Cree) had lived for millennia, and for the first seven years of his life Edmund spent his winters on an inland tributary and his summers on the shore of Winipek (James Bay). At eight, he was taken from his family and placed in the St. Anne’s Residential School in Peetabeck (Fort Albany).