On September 20th -26, I will be running with @oiselle and @run4allwomen for Run the Vote 2.0, a 907 mile virtual relay for Indigenous sovereignty and environmental justice.
After visiting countless public lands and growing up in Montana learning lots about settlers and too little about the tribes that inhabited the land first, I am eager to learn
Funds raised will be divided equally between @duwamishtribe of Seattle, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (@niwrc), and @runners4publiclands. If you’d like to donate or participate, you can find my personal fundraising page, more information about the event, and a link to register by clicking the DONATE button below. I know times are wildly difficult, so please don’t feel pressure to contribute if that’s not an option for you right now.
Why am I joining this effort?
I am joining this effort because the outdoors is for everyone and running brings us together with others who seek nature as a source of spirituality and connection. I want to share this while also learning how to better advocate for the people and places connected with these lands
I grew up in a town in Montana where Native Americans were marginalized as second-class citizens. I was told to stay away from” Indians” because they were dangerous and would beat you up. This wasn’t the whole story or the story of the majority. I also ran cross-country and the kids that ran for schools on the reservations were talented, strong, and fast. I wanted to run with them. Train with them. Native American lands are sacred not just to the tribes but to all of us. This planet is the responsibility of all of us and it is time we all treat it with the respect she needs to thrive for us and with us.
This summer we did a six day camping trip consisting of day-hikes to an area of Northeastern California new to us. We visited Burney Falls, and the lower, middle and upper falls of the McCloud River. We also did a short trip through Lassen National Park the day before it was evacuated to make way for the quickly moving Dixie Fire.
Throughout this trip we read placards that provided insight into the history of the land. What really struck me was that explorers came through and stripped the land from the tribes and renamed it. Native American tribes inhabiting these areas were Atsugewi, Yana, and Mountain Maidu. The names of the land and the mountains given by these people came from respect and the spiritual nature of the places to the people. The white men came through looking to make profits, colonize and industrialize the land most often without regard to the spiritual nature of the place and the people already living there. So Lassen Peak was renamed after a pioneer even though it already had a beautiful nam, Kokm Yah-mah-nee, which translates to Snow Mountain.
Then there was Burney Falls. The Ilmawi tribe believed the falls to be a sacred place. Native American historians say that the tribe considered things of beauty to have great power and used it as a place for meditation and visions. Naturally I was pissed off to see plastic water bottles carelessly littering this place. I felt the great power of the place and to see it disrespected with plastic sadly left me picking up more water bottles than I could carry.
With that, I vowed to begin learning and acknowledging the original inhabitants of the outdoor places that bring me peace, presence, and allow me to lose track of technology and time so I can focus on being in these places of beauty with the people I love.
Women Run the Vote 2.0
Funds raised will be divided equally between @duwamishtribe of Seattle, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (@niwrc), and @runners4publiclands. If you’d like to donate or participate, you can find my personal fundraising page, more information about the event, and a link to register HERE!
This is a virtual relay, completed in teams of 20, from Apsaalooké (Crow) lands at the Yellowstone National Park and ending in Duwamish territory (Oiselle HQ, Seattle, WA), taking place September 20th – 26th, 2021.Throughout this 900+ mile journey, I will be learning about the Native people and nations whose land we will traverse along the way.
Along the way I will learn more about the connection between Environmental Justice, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls epidemic, and the fight for #landback and #waterislife. I will also learn about the deeply problematic history of the National Parks and meet amazing leaders in the movements to protect Indigenous lands, waters, and our non-human relatives.” This planet is everyone’s responsibility
I will be sharing my progress with all of you beginning tomorrow and am super excited to be a small part of this important event!