Native tribes bring message on Longest Walk
By Daniel Smith/YourHub.com, Denver
Post, MARCH 24, 2008
About 50 members of tribes involved
in the Longest Walk 2 gathered for a blessing and ceremonial
singing at the Denver Art Museum's Native Art Wheel
March 24, then rallied at the state capitol to raise
awareness of their five-month coast-to-coast walk for
Native American rights as well as concerns for environmental
The walkers heard a presentation at
the capitol on behalf of Gov. Ritter in support of the
walk and its mission then marched to Newmont Mining
company headquarters to protest the desecration of Shoshone
sacred sites from gold mining by Newmont.
The walkers started from San Francisco
on Feb. 11, with the goal of reaching Washington, D.C.,
on July 11, following two routes, northern and southern,
that will cover more than 8,000 miles, stopping in communities
along each route.
The original Longest Walk in 1978 was
a protest to proposed legislation that would have abrogated
treaties protecting Native American sovereignty, and
resulted in the passage of the American Indian Religious
Freedom Act. In a press release, northern walk coordinator
Jimbo Simmons states says the walk is designed to raise
awareness about the tie between native cultural survival
and its direct link to the environment.
From Denver, the group will walk
to Pueblo and then follow Highway 50 to Kansas, stoppingfor
a visit at the site of Sand Creek to remember the massacre
of more than 150 native men, women and children there
by members of the Colorado Militia in 1864.