Brief History

On 11th February 1978 a Ceremony was held on Alcatraz Island to begin The Longest Walk. Three thousand miles later, on 15th July 1978 The Longest Walk reached Washington, D.C. It has been portrayed, when it is even acknowledged, as a protest Walk against 11 pieces of anti-Indian legislation. In reality, it was something else.

The Walk went through rain, sleet, snow and ice. We were cold and hungry. We would be walking, and there by the side of the road would be a pick up truck with a pot of stew. Some Paiute and Shoshone elders had driven a couple hundred miles so we could have something to eat. The animals would often come down from the hills and run along side.

As we left the Great Basin and crossed the Rockies and went across the plains the Walk grew. We walked as free people. It became an affirmation of tribal sovereignty of which the anti-Indian legislation was threatening. It became a Spiritual Walk for Indian Nations and our respective traditions, cultures and spiritual beliefs. We walked with our ancestors and for the future generations. Those concepts were not just ideals, they were in our steps, in our Camp when we set up as free people, in our Ceremonies when we prayed in our own Ways.

IN 2008, a message of supporting Sacred Sites was once again brought to DC. Now, 34 years later, we will be taking that thought, that way of praying, full circle. We will return back to Alcatraz, the prayers for our own Peoples and for the younger generations to keep alive what lies at the heart of Indigenous Sovereignty; our Ceremonies and Spiritual Ways.

Support The Longest Walk 4: Return to Alcatraz. Support Indigenous Sovereignty.

Comments
  1. Roger Straw says:

    Many sacred journeys following in the footsteps of the 1978 Longest Walk were “Sacred Runs” organized by Dennis Banks and others. For a history of Sacred Run 2006, see the archives at http://www.redfeatherweb.com/sacredrun2006/

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