Purpose of the Longest Walk 4

The Longest Walk 4: Return to Alcatraz is being initiated by those on the original, The Longest Walk in 1978. It will begin on July 15th, 2013 in Washington D.C. and travel to Alcatraz on December 22, 2013. The purpose of this Walk will be to reaffirm the heart of Traditional Tribal Sovereignty rooted in Ceremony and land based spiritual relationships. We call on all Indigenous Peoples to come and support this Walk.

We have gone to Washington D.C. many times to seek justice, the protection of treaty rights, and the continuing existence of our Peoples and Ways of Life. They have had their opportunity. The time has come to reclaim for ourselves the prayers that have gone east and bring them back full circle to Alcatraz, the symbol of the modern assertion of what has been called the Red Power Movement. We Walk to educate our own Peoples on what Tribal Sovereignty means from an Indigenous Peoples way of life. We Walk to affirm to the world that we still continue as free and sovereign Peoples as we define it. We Walk to remind those of our Peoples engaged in dealing with the nation-states that tribal sovereignty is not defined by non-Indigenous laws, rules and regulations; nor by economic development, good governance, and corporate structures. These elements may be pragmatic, but they do not define us. We Walk with the spirits of our ancestors for the present and for the future generations so that we as Peoples do not forget what makes us Indigenous.

We also Walk to remind all peoples that Leonard Peltier and his continuing incarceration is symbolic of the continuing incarceration of all Indigenous Peoples in the policies and political structures of the colonial nation-states. The time has come for the release of Leonard Peltier based on principles of reconciliation. It seems strange and one sided that nation-states seek forgiveness for horrendous crimes against our Peoples such as massacres, land confiscations, the theft of our children to abusive boarding schools and such, yet can’t find a way to release a person who has served over 30 years in prison, for what happened during a time of conflict. Leonard Peltier should be freed on this principle of reconciliation regardless of what one may think in terms of justice, innocence or guilt.

As this Walk is about the spiritual foundations of our sovereignty as talked about in The Longest Walk Manifesto of 1978, we also ask for elders and spiritual leaders to come and lend support and advice where possible. To this end we are also going to have a Spiritual Gathering at Cahokia Mounds in September, 2013.

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