Published April 24, 2017
MISSION, SOUTH DAKOTA – Members of the Longest Walk 5.2 were joined by Rosebud residents for a prayer walk through town, continuing their mission of calling attention to drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence in native communities.
The group started at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe homeless shelter, where they circled up for an opening prayer and words of welcome from community members. As the group made their way toward Sinte Gleska University, residents came out of their homes to join the walk. The route wound through the community, passing children playing and boarded-up homes. Rosebud reservation has been devastated by meth and alcohol abuse, which are at pandemic levels in Indian Country.
The Longest Walk 5.2 sent a message of hope. The walk ended at the university, where everyone enjoyed dinner. Members of the walk, of Shoshone / Paiute and Japanese descent, had a spirited drum-off while the people listened and sung along.
The Longest Walk 5.2 is the second of three coast-to-coast walks calling for an end to drug abuse and domestic violence. Helmed by AIM co-founder Dennis Banks, the walks are dedicated to the memory of his granddaughter Rose Downwind, who was murdered by her partner. The Longest Walk 5.2 started this year in San Francisco on February 12. The walk will end at a rally in Washington D,C. on July 15 at the Lincoln Memorial; please plan on joining the walkers!