I’m a fourth-generation runner. Running is in my family, in my blood, it’s tradition, it’s healing, it’s ceremony, and it’s community. Running has been my way to reconnect with myself, the lands, and my surroundings. It’s been my outlet for healing and to process what’s going in my life. I’ve always protected my running and have compartmentalized it from all of what is going in my life, personally and professionally. For so many Indigenous runners and communities, it’s in our blood, history, and part of our ceremonies. We run to carry prayers, carry messages, to honor, and even to run our prey to exhaustion. Running is a beautiful way for us to prioritize our own wellbeing, push ourselves, learn patience, learn the many lessons running can teach us, but it also encompasses a beautiful community.
While the running and outdoor world still has a transformation to go through, to be truly more supportive, safe, and inclusive – that process has begun. Many runners – long-time runners to new runners – are bringing new purpose, beyond just running a fast time or hitting a certain health goal, to their runs. Running has become more intentional, more purposeful, and even more prayerful for myself, and for my many relatives that run in prayer. Running not only shows a physical and transformative journey, it also tells stories. Stories of those who have no voice anymore, stories of those who don’t get the visibility they should, and stories to increase the amplification of knowledge sharing. This is why, for me, as a community organizer and race organizer, I create virtual runs to honor, celebrate, amplify, fundraise, and create pathways for people to become allies and learn something new from the run that’s being organized.
That is why – this year, we have our 2nd Annual Indigenous Peoples’ virtual 5k, 10k, Half Marathon again! We are amplifying and making donations to Stop Line 3, Wambli Ska, Rising Hearts and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizing Committee of Newton. We’ve been able to raise over $200k that has been donated to over 17 organizations and over 15 individuals that are organizers, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives family members and advocates doing the heart work. And we want you to be part of it with us!