Longest Walk spotlights issues important to American
By By Kevin Hoffmann, The
Kansas City Star, MAY 3, 2008
The message was instilled in Cordell
Tulley when he was a boy growing up on an Indian reservation
Take care of the land. Protect the sacred
That’s why Tulley doesn’t understand
why so many people pollute roadways, streams and rivers.
He doesn’t get why people are willing to bulldoze trees
and clear out wildlife for so-called development.
It’s also why he participated in the
Longest Walk, an effort to raise awareness of American
Indian issues and urge the public to take better care
of the environment.
“There’s a lot of environmental injustice
going on,” he said, “and we want justice so we can pass
something on to our grandchildren.”
The walk started in February in San
Francisco and is to end in July in Washington.
On Saturday, participants split up for
various events in the area, including a daylong gathering
at Johnson County Community College. A group of about
15 walkers/runners, however, continued the trek eastward.
The entire group was to camp Saturday night in Grain
Among the walkers Saturday was Ronnie
Keo, who lives on the Kickapoo Indian reservation outside
Topeka. He joined the walk when it reached Lawrence.
“We have a water shortage on the reservation,
and we have to do something about it,” Keo said at a
rest stop along U.S. 40 near Fleming Park. “Everybody
needs to help.”
Keo, who gave up his landscaping job,
said he planned to go all the way to the nation’s capital.
He said he hoped to return in time for a summer celebration
on the reservation.
“When I get back, I will be feeling
good here,” he said, pounding a fist on his chest.
A brief video can be seen here: http://videos.kansascity.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=1859496&genre_id=839