February 12, 2008

Longest Walk 2 launches

Longest Walk 2 Begins with Ceremony & Support for Repatriation for California Tribal NationsOn February 11, 2008, Indigenous Nations from around the country held a rally and press conference at the University of California Berkeley, to commence the Longest Walk 2 – a trans-continental walk for environmental protection and Native American rights. Participants of the Longest Walk 2 are embarking on a five- month journey on foot from San Francisco and will arrive in Washington, D.C. on July 11, 2008.

More than 1,000 Native American dignitaries, religious leaders, environmental, and union groups began the walk at a Monday sunrise ceremony at Alcatraz Island, which has become a symbol for Native American Resistance. The events continued with a peaceful rally and press conference at the University of California.

“Longest Walk 2 embraces the struggle in solidarity with California Natives fighting the sudden and secretive elimination of UC Berkeley’s Hearst Museum’s unit on Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).” Said Jimbo Simmons, National Coordinator of The Longest Walk 2 and Native American NAGPRA Coalition member. “We are protesting the university’s possession of more than 12,000 ancestral remains. Not only is UC Berkeley refusing to comply with federal law, they are turning complete control of our missing Indian ancestors and sacred objects to radical anti-repatriation scientists.”

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