PUAMUN MESHKENU IN ACTION
Puamun Meshkenu (Innu for the “path of a thousand dreams”) is a non-profit organization started in 2016 by Dr. Stanley Vollant. Since its foundation, the organization works to inspire Indigenous Peoples and support them in developing to their full potential. Just like his ancestor Innu Meshkenu, Puamun Meshkenu initiates projects to have a lasting and meaningful impact on the lives of Indigenous youth and to create a structuring movement for all Indigenous communities in Quebec.
Our target audience
Puamun Meshkenu develops projects to inspire and support indigenous peoples to develop their full potential.
To achieve this, we are focusing on projects that can have a positive impact on Indigenous youth.
Puamun, n. i. : dream (pwamu:n)
Meshkenu, n. i. : road, path, way. See also meshkanau, meshkanu
Our mission is to inspire and support Indigenous Peoples to follow their own path of a thousand dreams (or “Puamun Meshkenu” in Innu) in a way that is mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally holistic.
We accompany Indigenous Peoples so that each individual may develop to their full potential and contribute to increase collective wellness with the support of his community. Our actions promote healthy lifestyles, encourage school perseverance and foster reconciliation.
Our dream (“puamun” in Innu) is that Indigenous Peoples develop to their full potential and contribute to collective well-being.
Promoting holistic health, school perseverance and Indigenous identity, Puamun Meshkenu’s recognition and its humane and inclusive
approach lead to concrete actions that develop Indigenous people’s full potential. Its actions have an impact on collective wellness and increase recognition of Indigenous Peoples in society.
This value means maintaining and preserving Indigenous cultural traditions, identities and customs. It also means sharing, passing down, valuing and educating with respect for all Indigenous cultures. This value also holds the capacity for resilience and the will to live a contemporary lifestyle with pride.
This value means working to improve people’s well-being, in ways that are aligned with their needs and respect their experiences and differences. Wellness requires action in order to regain balance and is about responsibility. This value draws on the holistic principles of the Medicine Wheel.
This value means working to reach a common goal, for and by Indigenous Peoples. It also means valuing constructive partnerships with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples and organizations. Collaboration involves respect, honesty, transparency and a desire for reconciliation. It is illustrated by the strengths and skills, creativity and actions of Puamun Meshkenu’s team members.
This value means carrying out our mission with enthusiasm, determination and conviction.This value underlies the organization’s vitality and dynamism in all its endeavours, as well as its sound, optimized and respectful management. This value generates abundance and the realization of dreams, and it also means taking our rightful place.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
We consider and respect all aspects of each person in every action and decision.
Regardless of their culture and history, people are respected in their entirety and as a whole. We are listening to the needs Indigenous youth express and developing our actions in consequence.
We take a holistic, humane and inclusive approach.
Our actions are designed and deployed according to the principles of the Medicine Wheel, in order to meet people in the four (4) spheres of their development: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
We take climate issues into consideration in our choices and activities as much and whenever possible.
We make environmentally friendly choices for our events and hold our meetings virtually as much as possible. We aim for zero GHG emissions for all our activities. We try to offset any GHG emissions we may incur, as resources are available.
We wish to develop our programming as much as possible across Canada with a 5-8 year perspective.
Over the long term, we aim to develop our activities and programming across Canada with a view to reaching all Indigenous young Peoples. We are evaluating all requests coming from the other provinces and answering them according to our action plan and resources.
Strategic plan 2020-2025
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
The Meshkenu Innu Walking Movement
Innu Meshkenu is a movement started by Dr. Stanley Vollant’s by 6,000-km walk from 2010 to 2017. Travelling the road of his ancestors, Dr. Vollant went to meet Indigenous people living in the communities across Quebec. He sought to convey his message of hope to young people and took the time to visit many schools along the way. The walking movement promotes healthy lifestyle habits and provides both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities with a universal experience that bridges cultures. A true inspiration for many, the walking movement has touched Indigenous people who have decided to join the great human project that is Innu Meshkenu. Carrying the message of school perseverance to the young people he met along the way, Dr. Vollant gathered their dreams with his walking stick and conveyed hope with the message “With a courageous heart, nothing is impossible.”
MANAWAN-KITIGAN ZIBI LOGBOOK WALKING AT LAC RAPIDE
Dr. Stanley Vollant's entries during his journey
Discover the virtual book of the Innu Walking Meshkenu
Logbook available here: Innu Meshkenu the great adventure
of Dr Stanley Vollant (2010-2017)
WHO IS STANLEY VOLLANT?
STANLEY VOLLANT'S BIOGRAPHY
An Innu from Pessamit, Dr. Stanley Vollant grew up on the northern shores of the St. Lawrence River. From an early age, he was introduced to traditional Indigenous teachings by his maternal grandfather, who taught him the importance of community values.
He completed his secondary and post-secondary studies in the Québec City area before obtaining a medical degree (MD) from the Université de Montréal in 1989. He completed his training in 1994 with a specialized diploma in general surgery. He became the very first Indigenous surgeon in Quebec.
Dr. Vollant began his career in December of the same year at the Centre hospitalier régional de Baie-Comeau, where he served in general surgery as a specialist. He has practiced as a general surgeon in several hospitals, including in Dolbeau-Mistassini and Chicoutimi and at the Montfort Hospital in Ottawa. He has also practiced general surgery in his community and worked with his people. He is currently practicing general surgery at Notre-Dame Hospital in Montréal.
In 2004, he obtained the title of Assistant Professor of Surgery and served as the director of the Indigenous Program in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine. In 2010, he was appointed coordinator of the Indigenous component of the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal. He then created the mini-health schools to introduce Indigenous youth to employment possibilities in the various health fields.
Dr. Vollant’s notable contributions include serving as chair of the Quebec Medical Association and sitting on the Executive Council of the Canadian Medical Association. He is the very first Indigenous person to be appointed head of a medical association in North America. Over the years, he has also been awarded numerous distinctions. In 1996, he garnered the Governor General of Canada’s Aboriginal Role Model Award and, in 2014, he was named a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. He was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec’s Medal for Exceptional Merit in 2017 and its First Peoples (Innu Nation) Medal in 2019.
During a pilgrimage to Compostela, Spain, he felt called to travel the road of his ancestors to various Indigenous communities. In the fall of 2010, he therefore set off on a long walk throughout Quebec to promote healthy lifestyle habits among Indigenous youth. This project became a great movement called Innu Meshkenu, which means “the Innu way.” Dr. Vollant walked over 6,000 kilometres in all. Several other Indigenous people joined him in walking to inspire young people to believe in their potential.
Dr. Vollant decided to create the organization Puamun Meshkenu in 2016 to pursue in the spirit of the Innu Meshkenu. With its numerous school perseverance and healthy lifestyle programs, the organization is growing according to the holistic approach of Indigenous cultures. For more than 30 years, Dr. Vollant has taken interest in First Nations health and, with increasing commitment, in the overall well-being of Indigenous people in Canada.
To find out more about
Dr. Vollant's life
Stanley Vollant : de Compostelle à Kuujjuaq (partie 1 de 2):
Stanley Vollant : de Compostelle à Kuujjuaq (partie 2 de 2):
Le Dr Stanley Vollant raconte sa vie et les débuts de la marche Innu Meshkenu
Découvrez les chemins parcourus par Stanley Vollant