Photo Long Walk 5 by Carl Bad Bear Sampson, Western Shoshone
The Longest Walk 5.2 Shows Love for Pine Ridge
By Long Walk 5.2
On April 8, 2017, the Longest Walk 5.2 invites Native people to gather at 4 p.m. in White Clay, Nebraska. There will be a global live feed then the group will walk in prayer with local horse riders to the Pine Ridge Billy Mills Hall for a 7 p.m. ceremony.
“The Longest Walk 5.2 is a prayer walk and run from San Francisco to Washington D.C. supporting indigenous communities in seeking spiritual and cultural solutions to drug, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence,” said Bobby Wallace, National Walk Chief.
In White Clay, four businesses profited from the sale of 3.5 million cans of beer within the past year, fueling an epidemic of alcohol abuse in Native communities.
“We hope to help shed light on the predatory alcohol vendors in White Clay and honor the community’s ongoing, decades-long battle against these businesses,” Wallace said.
“Take off the blinders, this is for real!”
The Longest Walk 5.2 started on Feb 12, 2017 in San Francisco, California, and follows a central route through the states, ending in Washington D.C. on July 15. During their five-month trek, the runners and walkers are crossing 18 mountain ranges and visiting 54 tribal communities on a 153-day spiritual journey. The group is also collecting data and testimonies from community members in order to understand how these issues are affecting them, to help inspire change, and to find solutions.
The Longest Walks recall days when indigenous messengers traveled long distances to spread news, and continues centuries-long indigenous resistance to colonization. The first Longest Walk took place in 1978 to protest 11 Congressional bills that would have repealed treaties that ensured Indian sovereignty, all of which were struck down after the march. In 2016, American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks initiated the Longest Walk 5, in memory of his granddaughter Rose Downwind, who was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. The Walk crossed the country on a southern route covering Indian Country from La Jolla Shores, California to Washington D.C. In 2018, the Longest Walk 5.3 will cover the Northern route across the country from Seattle to Washington D.C.
(Please share and share this important part of our journey.) Thank you.
Media Contact: Ray St. Clair, (248) 798-2196, firstname.lastname@example.org, longestwalk.us