Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community

“Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Dakota Culture for Future Generations”

The MMDTC is a tribal community, not yet federally recognized. We are a Tribal 501C3 org.

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The Longest Walk ( Distruption )

To the Editor:

Columbus, OH has once again distinguished itself. After walking more than 2,400 miles from San Francisco since February, a group of men, women and children experienced their first police problem on their journey in Columbus. The Longest Walk is a group of about forty mostly Native American people who are walking to Washington DC for the Seventh Generation for youth, peace, justice, the healing of Mother Earth, heart conditions, alcoholism, drug addiction and other diseases. It is a spiritual walk, a historical walk, and a walk for educational awareness for the American and world communities about the concerns of the American Indian People. And, as they go, they are picking up trash.

On Monday, June 2, as this peaceful group walked in the parking lane and on the sidewalk on the west side of Columbus on Main Street, eight police cars zoomed up, one blocking their way. A police officer came up to a van that follows the walkers and reached into the window and grabbed and yanked the steering wheel. He yelled at the young woman who was driving a carload of young children and threatened Your children would be taken away and given to Childrens Services! As the children began to cry, their mothers who were walking came to see what was wrong and to comfort them. A walker charged with security came up and was grabbed, kneed, thrown to the ground and handcuffed. A police officer pointed a taser gun at the head of a walker who was also an attorney as he spoke to the police. A grandmother spoke softly to an officer asking what the concern was and trying to calm a situation that was becoming increasingly frightening. She pointed out We are like your mothers, your sisters, your children. Ultimately the walkers were allowed to continue, but were badly shaken by this unprovoked and frightening experience.

The walkers have walked though the snow, extreme rain, and the blazing sun. They are often tired, hungry, thirsty and sore. They will continue through Ohio on Route 40 to their destination of Washington DC, expecting to arrive next month.

I hope our leaders will ask questions about our Columbus Welcome to these peaceful people who were picking up our trash as they walked for health, justice and the environment.

If you are embarrassed for our city by our polices harassment, as I am, consider sending a message of support and a donation if you are able, to the Longest Walk at their website at www. longestwalk. org.

Lynn Crevling
822 South Roosevelt
Columbus, OH 43209

(614) 291-0192 (W)

Deanna Rae StandingCloud-Green

612-998-7565 (Cell)

612-824-4060 (Home)

www.myspace.com/d_rae1979