August 24, 2007

Running for peace

Native American Youth On Peace, Unity TourFresh from the excitement of an address to the United Nations in New York City, a group of Native American youth and elders arrived in Cape May County Aug. 14 on a tour from Canada to Virginia promoting peace and unity on behalf of indigenous people.

Two Native American young men carried staffs—poles made out of tree branches, decorated with feathers—while running along Route 9 in Rio Grande, then through Erma, on their way to catch the 4:30 p.m. Cape May Lewes Ferry here. The runners were accompanied by four vans from Ontario filled with supporters.

The tour is a Native tradition that dates back to 1986, according to Stacey Green, 25, one of the youth organizers, from Six Nations Territory near Toronto, Ontario.

“In 1986 we had an elder from out west in South Dakota—he had a vision,” Green explained. “That vision was to retrace the footsteps of our ancestors and to wipe the tears from our eyes from all the trauma that we’ve been through as a people,” she said.

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