LANSING -- The Treaty Awareness Walk from Rexton, Mich., to Lansing was a success. Walkers arrived in Lansing as scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and held a march near the Capitol building. Now they are continuing through Michigan to Ohio and on to Washington, D.C., where they hope to arrive on Nov. 6, 2015.
Participants in the Treaty Awareness Walk march near the Capitol Building in Lansing on Oct. 6, 2015. (Photo © and courtesy Angeline OzhaashkweBiik Antoine)
"Today (Saturday, Oct. 10) is the last leg of the Michigan route. Walkers will be heading south on M52 from Chelsea, Mich., to the Ohio border. They will be greeted by David Gaskin who, along with Joe Hock, will be walking the eagle staff to Washington DC. If you live near where they are walking PLEASE JOIN THEM! #nomines #nograymont #shutdownline5 #honorthetreaties," writes Angeline OzhaashkweBiik Antoine, who has shared her photos of the walk with Keweenaw Now.
Antoine noted the walk to Lansing was a success and attracted the attention of bystanders who were not previously aware of government land deals, such as the sale/exchange of 10,000 acres of Michigan public land to Graymont Mining Co., which Native Americans believe violates their treaty rights on ceded territory.
Amanda Nimke Ballard of Chelsea, Mich., carries the staff during the Oct. 6 Treaty Awareness Walk in Lansing. She has also provided lodging and transportation for the walkers in Chelsea, where they stopped before heading for Ohio today. (Photo © and courtesy Angeline OzhaashkweBiik Antoine)
"It was great to see so many different tribes represented at the march on Tuesday," Antoine said. "In all I have met people from eight different tribes on this walk. In doing this walk we not only wanted to bring awareness to Graymont and Line 5, but we also wanted to bring about unity between the tribes. We are all one people and the walk, the march, and the show of support has proven that."
Another participant in the walk, Darryl Brown of St. Ignace, Mich., writes, "Defending the treaties is an important way to protect the Water and Earth. The Treaty Awareness Walk created enthusiasm and inspiration to native people to be Idle No More and provided many ways for people to be involved. I pray it provides more action by bringing people together to stop the senseless destruction of the land and risk taking regarding the fresh water lakes in Michigan."
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