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The Longest Walk 2 in Baltimore, Quechan Sacred Sites, and Other Wanderings

July 8, 2008

The Longest Walk 2 in Baltimore, Quechan Sacred Sites, and Other Wanderings


Greetings from a teepee in Delaplane, Virginia...

The Longest Walk 2 (www.longestwalk.org) for Mother Earth, health, sacred sites & indigenous rights is rapidly approaching Washington, DC, after thousands of miles of walking and running from Alcatraz on the west coast. Thirty years ago, in 1978, the American Indian Movement's original Longest Walk walked into DC to present their manifesto: Affirmation of Sovereignty of the Indigenous People of the Western Hemisphere.

Four days from now, the 2008 Longest Walk 2's Manifesto for Change "All Life is Sacred" will be presented to the United States government when both the southern and northern routes of the Walk converge in DC, after the July 8-10 Cultural Survival Summit in Greenbelt, MD.

The day before yesterday, a small group of us from the southern route traveled to Baltimore to meet up with the northern route for a press conference in the middle of a plaza in the city's Inner Harbour district. A photo-essay about the event will be online on my other blog - thistidehasnoheartbeat.wordpress.com - very soon, likely before you read this one. The photograph above was taken at the press conference of the young girl who carries the lead staff of the northern route: the children's staff, for the future generations.

I was invited to go along to Baltimore to take a break from the 18-hour workdays. I haven't been able to walk for over a week now because of a foot injury (the doc says achilles tendonitis, but then again he also tried to inject me with something I had just told him I was allergic to), so I've been working with the Manifesto writing & editing team. Luckily there's usually a steady stream of coffee.

Aside from the principal text, another aspect of the Manifesto is the accompanying resolutions to be presented to Congress. I will be working on one with Quechan community members from the Fort Yuma reservation in the southeastern corner of California and over into Arizona. For decades, one of their main struggles has been to protect Avikwalal ('Pilot Knob') - a spider's web of sacred sites and cremation grounds - from numerous 'development' projects.

Dominion readers might have heard of the Quechan resistance to Canadian mining corporation Glamis Gold / Goldcorp's plans for the Imperial gold mine in the vicinity of this trail of sacred sites in the desert region. When California responded by requiring special mitigation measures for open pit mines near sacred sites, Glamis sued the U.S. government under NAFTA, a case that has yet to be resolved. Now, the Quechan Tribal Council is building a casino in part of Avikwalal...

From the Longest Walk 2,
saludos & abrazos,

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Longest walk 1978

My family and I were on the longest walk. I was ardena cleveland at the time. My husband was Milford Cleveland. I tell my children about all the things i learnd and seen. All the people i met. It was and always be in my heart. A lot of people i knew are gone now but i will always reamber everyone. I was with the United tribes of oklahoma caravan. If anyone one reambers me please email me. I was only 15teen and had two children at the time. I live in Salt River now in Az. I will always reamber all my brothers and sisters in my heart. and at Wounded Knee.