Ten Days to the Trek

NWMP sign Chimney Coulee brighter

My North West Mounted Police Trail walk (AKA Sitting Bull Trail Walk, Lakota Trail pilgrimage, Metis Trail pilgrimage) begins very shortly, on July 17th! Our small group of pilgrims will be greeted at Wood Mountain (Lakota) First Nation with a smudging ceremony and a blessing to send us off. As well, there will be a Royal Canadian Mounted Police ceremony to send us off, as we begin our three week walk. If you would like to donate to help create the documentary of the walk, please see https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/walking-the-medicine-line#/story. We have already met our initial goal, but additional funds raised will go toward hiring a sound person and camera-person to make the documentary even better. Thank-you!

govt sign three

7-7 and Walking Remembrance

Kings Cross Paddington London 2015

Today I’m in London. Ten years ago this morning, 52 people were killed and over 700 injured in the infamous Tube bombings. One of the bombs was not in the underground but on a bus at Tavistock Square, only a couple of hundred meters from where I am writing this.

On the bus returning from Waterloo Station this morning there was a sign encouraging passengers to join in a minute of silence. Another suggestion: that all passengers disembark from whatever they were riding, one stop before their destination, in order to walk the final short distance to their destination. “Remember while you walk.”

Walking slows us down. It can – at times – be that unaccustomed slowness that makes us think, remember,and maybe reconsider.

angel from St Pancras church London 2015

Mother Canada and Indigenous peoples as seen from England on Canada Day

What is this about this big statue your government is building….what’s it called? Mother Canada? From the pictures I’ve seen, looks ghastly.

I try to tell people here that I couldn’t agree more. Mother and Canada are two good words in their own right. To my mind, however, they just don’t go together. What’s more, the Mother Canada statue will apparently be reaching out eastward, toward Europe. Straining toward Europe by the looks of it. I wonder what the First Nations would think about that. And why Mother Canada’s planners don’t seem to make any reference at all to the earth that has been our real mother since we who are European background arrived on these shores.

My son and I took a 5-mile walk along the Cam river today, Canada Day. It feels a bit odd to be here, in England. Of the string of houseboats moored along the river, one of them was flying a Canadian flag. I took a picture. And I wore my Haudenosaunee tee-shirt. For me, at least now, being Canadian, which I am, has to include also some recognition of those other nations.