Sunday, April 6, 2008

Kansas ready to welcome Longest Walk

Kansas Welcomes the “The Longest Walk 2”

An American Indian Spiritual Walk for Survival and the 30th Anniversary of Historic Native American Rights March

This is a Direct Call to Support the healing of Mother Earth, environmental protection, and respect for Sacred Sites and Human rights

SYRACUSE, Kansas -- On Tuesday April 8 after traveling on foot over 1,500 miles from San Francisco, CA, the Northern Route of the Longest Walk 2 will arrive in Kansas as they continue their journey across the nation. The Longest Walk 2 Northern Route will walk on highway U.S. 50 from Colorado into Syracuse Kansas and then will be hosted by Kansans across the state through the month of April. On February 11, 2008 Longest Walk- 2 embarked in an extraordinary grassroots effort on a national level to bring attention to the environmental disharmony of Mother Earth, sacred site issues, and to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the original longest walk. In the five-month journey from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. Longest Walk 2 participants are carrying out simultaneous North and South walk routes that will have together walked more than 8000 miles across the country.
American Indian activists Jimbo Simmons and Dennis Banks are leading the Walks. The two groups will converge in Washington DC on July 11, where they will meet with United States Congressional members. Jimbo Simmons of the International Indian Treaty Council sates, "In 1978, our communities faced many hardships such as non-existing religious rights and criminalization of our people who fought for cultural survival. This is why the Longest Walk was necessary. As Indigenous Peoples in the United States our environment and our cultural survival are directly correlated and are still imperiled today. ‘This is why we must walk once again’.
On Tuesday, organizers from Kansas will meet the Longest Walk 2 (LW 2) North route as they cross the border near Syracuse. Community members at Syracuse will host the LW 2 where the Walkers will spend two days sharing stories and learning about environmental issues that most concern Kansans. Topics discussed will be the Holcomb Coal Plant, Greensburg building green, Lawrence / Haskell College Wetlands protection, as well as other issues impacting Kansas. In support of LW 2 , The Kansas Sierra Club writes, “Earth's resources should be used responsibly and sustainable so all people including future generations may share nature's bounty. No community should bear disproportionate risks of harm because of their demographic characteristics or economic condition. We support Native People's wielding of their sovereign powers to protect the environment and to establish environmental justice.”
The LW 2 participants will stay in hosting communities along US 50 through Kansas, including Garden City, Dodge City, Wichita, Newton, Lawrence and Kansas City, where public events will be held nightly. The LW 2 will also visit the Greensburg area where Walkers will acknowledge the work of students, citizens, and the Greentown committee in their efforts with re- building a “green” community after the devastating tornado on May 4, 2007.
LW 2 organizers invite the public to join in community events and encourage citizens to walk with the group. The LW 2 consists of Indigenous peoples from North, South, and Central America, as well as people from Europe and Asia.
For local events and other information go to http://www.longestwalk.org/
Contacts:
Kansas State Coordinator
Jim Schneweis jims0326@aol.com
Western Kansas contact (913) 342- 4018
Joni Tucker-Nisbeth(913) 449 4554 (620) 708 2026
National Office
Ricardo Tapia (510) 520-6096 Jimbo Simmons (415) 568- 0926
www.longestwalk.org

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