Native group walks to save 'Mother Earth'


Tuesday, May 6th 2008, 7:53 pm
By: News 9


By Darren Brown, News9.com INsite team

A sacred circle is formed.  A tribal elder waves sage.  Sneakers keep time to a distant drum beat as traffic whizzes past. 

The Longest Walk 2 is a journey, to raise environmental awareness and renew the spirit of the original walk 30 years ago. 

In 1978, 11 bills were introduced in Congress that threatened Native sovereignty.  A peaceful protest was organized -- The Longest Walk --  a 3,600-mile trek across America.

Henry Dominguez took part in the 1978 walk.  He recalls it being a struggle, but not without its rewards. "Even though it was a political reason, it was still with an emphasis on spirituality," Dominguez said. 

The walkers are listening to each tribe and community that they meet.  They're gathering information about environmental concerns, and plan on carrying those concerns straight to Capitol Hill.

Dominguez said the past 30 years haven't changed his resolve. "There's a lot of places where things have happened. That cycle, that order with Mother Earth has changed." 

"Whites don't bleed white, blacks don't bleed black, yellow don't bleed yellow, we all bleed red.  And that's what's gonna get us to Washington, D.C.," he said.

Raga Woods joined the group in New Mexico, but she didn't plan on it.   She helps coordinate a cultural festival in her native England. 

"I'm involved in this festival, and I wanted to find some Native people to come over to the festival to do ceremony with us, and then I arrived in Taos with a completely different agenda, with different people to meet, and I met these guys and here I am," she said.

For Woods, the walk is more than political. 

 "I'm searching for, in my own personal life, a deeper, more spiritual understanding of what's going on with our Earth," she said.  "I find it so nourishing that I can be with people that are talking my talk, and they're walking their walk." 

Dominguez said the walk's message still rings true, even after 30 years. 

"Yeah, maybe there is a little craziness in doing something like this, but it's a good crazy," he said.  "Sometimes the things that are real out there, is the reason why you have to have hope."

To participate in the walk, or to get more information about the walk, go to www.longestwalk.org/