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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | U.S. | Racial Justice
The Longest Walk 2: An Indigenous Spiritual Walk For Survival from Alcatraz to D.C.
In 1978 thousands participated in a historical march across the country to shed light on the condition of Native America and to halt the assault by the Federal Government on Native sovereignty. Today many of the struggles continue; from the fight for religious freedom, to resisting the removal of Indigenous people from their land and the protection of sacred sites. Many of the original walkers and the next generation of Native activists have organized a walk to commemorate the victories of the past and unite around the struggles of today.
"The Longest Walk is an Indian spiritual walk, a historical walk; and it is a walk for educational awareness to the American and the world communities about the concerns of American Indian people.”- 1978 Longest Walk Manifesto
The Longest Walk 2 begins on Alcatraz Island on February 11th. It is a peaceful, spiritual effort to engage with the public about restoring harmony with the environment and to bring awareness of the struggle to protect sacred sites. Jimbo Simmons of the International Indian Treaty Council states, " as Indigenous Peoples in the United States, our environment and our cultural survival are directly correlated and are still imperiled today, this is why we must walk once again".
The walk will travel two routes, the original route and the southern route. Each night the walkers will gather with the communities they are passing through and share stories of the struggles each one is facing. A descendant of original walkers and the California Coordinator for the Longest Walk 2 Morning Star Gali sees The Longest Walk 2 “as a walk for cultural survival. …[It] is an opportunity for the youth to see firsthand what issues and challenges our communities are facing, what sacred sites are being desecrated and the efforts that are being made to protect them. This is an opportunity for our elders to participate and pass that knowledge on. Like my aunt [has told me], this is our opportunity to change the world into what we choose for the…generations ahead.” The walks will reunite five months and 4,000 miles later, in Washington D.C. on July 8th with a rally and a passing of the staff from the older generation to the younger.
The Longest Walk 2 begins February 11th, 2008 with a Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island and is open to people of all nations and cultures. Please support the walkers by joining us at any of our kick-off events listed below. For more information on how to help please visit http://www.thelongestwalk.org.