Paul Owns the Sabre, 71, ready to walk for diabetes
By Brenda Norrell
Photo by Brenda Norrell. Paul Owns the Sabre at the culmination of the Longest Walk in 2008.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Paul Owns the Sabre, 71, said he is ready to begin his third Longest Walk across America, this time for diabetes.
"I'm ready to walk for diabetes, for Indian people with diabetes," said Owns the Sabre, Cheyenne River Lakota from South Dakota. Among the Native American walkers who has diabetes, he said he hopes to lose some weight during the next six months walking.
Owns the Sabre was on the Longest Walk in 1978, then again 30 years later on the Longest Walk in 2008. He joins the southern route when it begins on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, from La Jolla Shores, near San Diego.
Owns the Sabre said his decision to join the Longest Walk is about loyalty. "I'm loyal to the Longest Walk," said Owns the Sabre, remembering the Longest Walk in 1978. "We didn't have nothing," he said, remembering how hard it was to find food and a place to sleep each night as the walkers crossed America.
On the northern route in 2008, Owns the Sabre was among those who walked for the protection of Mother Earth and American Indian rights. He was reunited with his mother in Colorado, who drove down to meet the walkers from Denver. His mother has since made her journey to the Spirit World.
Meanwhile, walkers on the Longest Walk northern route for diabetes awareness are ready to leave east of Portland, Oregon, on Monday. Carl "Bad Bear" Sampson, Western Shoshone, is in Portland with Navajo coordinator Chris Francisco from Shiprock, N.M. Bad Bear joins other Native youths from the Longest Walk northern route 2008, including Lisa Peake, Pomo/Ojibwe, and Craig Luther, Navajo, who are ready to walk across America again.