Prattans to join in new Longest Walk
By Gale Rose, email@example.com,
Pratt Tribune, April 11, 2008
Like their ancestors did for centuries,
a group of Native Americans is walking to their destination.
Only this walk is longer than most tribes ever had to
travel, over 4,400 miles, and part of those miles
will go through Pratt.
The Longest Walk 2 is a group of Native
Americans walking from Alcatraz off the coast of San
Francisco to Washington D.C. to commemorate the 30 year
anniversary of the first Longest Walk in 1978.
The original Longest Walk in 1978 was
a response to 11 legislative bills in Congress that
would revoke native treaties the protected native sovereignty,
according to the Longest Walk web site.
The original walk was along U.S. 54
and passed through Pratt. Among those walkers was Larry
Foster, a Navajo and father of Prattan Nanabah Foster
and her 4-year-old daughter Kaya ManyHawks. Larry is
also among the walkers on the Longest Walk 2 south route.
Nanabah is flying her father in to join her and Kaya
on the north route for the portion of the walk that
goes through Pratt. Nanabah is proud of her Navajo heritage
being able to participate in the walk.
"For me to be able to do this is
like rewinding time," Foster said. "We'll
sing the same songs and pray the same prayers they did
Nanabah, whose name means "She
Goes to War and Come Home with Victory," will walk
from Greensburg to Wichita while Kaya will walk four
miles. Larry Foster
The walkers number about 40 and will
be in Pratt on Monday, April 14. They will stay at the
Liberty Middle School Gymnasium and have supper at the
First Southern Baptist Church, said Carla Washington,
who is organizing the meal and whose husband William
"I'm glad to do it and to be able
to help out," Washington said.
The Foster family is very politically
active and Nanabah is proud of the role her father played
in the original walk to save Native American rights.
He was very active in the American Indian movement in
the 60s and 70s.
"I grew up hearing stories of what
my dad did politically," Foster said. "He
was able to participate in the walk and change things."
The original walk arrived in Washington
D.C. on July 15, 1978 and with the help of hundreds
of supporters including Mohammed Ali, Sen. Ted Kennedy
and Marlon Brando, those bills were defeated and Native
American treaties remained protected, the web site said.
The Longest Walk 2 honors the first
walk and also brings attention to Native American issues
including protecting sacred sites and cleaning up Mother
Earth, Nanabah said.
Her uncle, Lennie Foster, is an activist
and a member of the United Nations. The family is from
the Navajo Reservation in northeast Arizona. The reservation
is considered sovereign so they have voting rights in
the U.N., Nanabah said.
Her grandfather, Harold Foster, was
a code talker during World War II. The Code Talkers
were a group of Navajos that quickly sent messages in
their native language rather than use the much slower
Morse Code. Foster received a silver Congressional Medal
of Honor for his service,
The walkers will also go through Greensburg
and deliver blessings. The event will be filmed by the
Discovery Channel as part of their on-going documentary
of the Greensburg tornado destruction and recovery.
For more information about the Longest
Walk 2 visit the web site at: www.longestwalk.org.