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MAZINAIGANSUPPLEMENTPAGE10SPRINGSUMMER2014HEALINGCIRCLERUNUnderstandingtherelationshipbetweenthestrawberryandonesselfaswellasmansdependenceonpurewaterexemplifyhowtheOjibwepeoplearecon-nectedtotheearth.ThisconnectionmadethroughtherunhelpshealtheOjibwepeopleandthosewhoparticipatethereforethisuniquerunsnameTheHealingCircleRun.In2009JennySchlenderaveteranofseveralyearssharedherperceptionsoftheRuninpartasfollowsThecommunitiesthatwevisitedthissummerwereover-whelminglysupportivenotonlywiththeaccommodationsbutwiththeirfreshwalkinglegsthosearealwayswelcomeaswecoverthemilesbetweenreservations.Thejoyindoingtherunishearingthestoriesthatpeoplebringalongwiththeopportunitytoshareyourownstory.Witheachcommu-nitywearejoinedbynewpeopleandeveryonebringssomethingtosharewhetheritisastorythatisinspiringorajokethatmakesuslaugh.Whethertheyarewithusforadayoraweekpeopleleaveapieceofthemselveswithus.Aswegatheratourtalkingcircleswhichbothbeginandendeachdaywetellstoriesofthesepeopleandhowtheyhavetouchedus.ThisyearweweregiventheConanStompauniquetraditioninstitutedbyConanKmiecik.TheConanStompbeganwhenclos-ingthetalkingcircleinLacDuFlambeau.AsConanfinishedwhathehadtosayhetookMitiginaabeastaffthatispassedduringthetalkingcirclestompeditonthegroundandpassediton.Thisthenleadthenextpersontodothesamething.PrettysoonthewholegroupwasdoingtheConanStomp.Simplestoriesandactionslikethishappenontherunthatmakeuslaugh.Laughterishealing.Howeversometimesthestoriesthataretolddontmakeanyonelaughsomearethestoriesofothersillnessesandthestrugglesintheirlives.Wetakeallthesestoriesandputthosethoughtsandothersintoourasemaatobaccoandwepray.Whenwestepoutontheroadweputdownourtobaccoandwethinkofthosethatcannotbewithuswhethertheyareinthespiritworldortheyareunable.Wewalkorrunthosemileswiththehopeofhealing.Thecirclescreatedeachyearbytherunarelikethegrowthcirclesinatreetrunk.Eachnewcircleencompassesthosethatwereformedearlier.Theyareseparatebutallpartofonelivingandgrowingentity.AndsoIbelieveitiswiththeHealingCircleRun.Overthelast20yearsmanylivesmanystoriesmuchlaughterandalsofallingtearsmergetocreatetheHealingCircleRunandcontinuetheprocessofhealing.TheHealingCircleRuncontinuedtogrowfrom2011through2013withparticipationfrom179peopletohelpcoverthe580-milecirclein2011.ThatwasayearofseveralfirstsaccordingtoNeil.ForoneitwasthefirstyearBayMillstribalmembersparticipatedcomingfromafartohelpcovermilesbetweenLacVieuxDesertandRedCliff.ItwasalsothefirstyearFondduLacmembersparticipatedandranorwalkedtotheReservationBusinessCommitteebuildingsignificantlyexpandingthecircle.Atotaloffifteencoreteammembersparticipatedintheentire2011runprob-ablythelargestnumberofrunnerswalkerstocompletetheentirecoursesincetheRunsinception.In2012about150runnersandwalkersjoinedthegreatcircleputtingtheirfeettothepavementastheymovedfromreservationtoreservation.ButIn2013participationintheRunpeakedwith330runnerswalkerscoveringthecircleyouthmakingupalargeportionofthoseparticipants.RemembertheRunstartedwithjustthreepeoplein2001.The2013coursetookaslightdetouratHurley.Whilecorerunnersandoth-erskepttocourseonHighway2headingtoBadRiverandAshlandabouttentotwelveBadRiverveteransfromtheOdanahLegionPost25andafewotherBadRivermembersheadedfromHurleytoMellencarryingtheirveteransstaffflagandrunningbatons.WethoughtitwasimportantasogichidaatomakeastatementabouthonoringtheEarthconsideringtheminingproposalandthiswasahealingwalksaysBadRiverveteranDaveDAcquisto.SeveralwomenalsotookfooduptotheLCOHarvestCampinthePenokeesonthatlegofthejourney.WegotsomeresistanceinHurley.NamecallingobscenegesturesandallsaysDAcquisto.EscortedthroughthedowntownstretchbythesheriffsdepartmentthecontingencyheadedtowardsMellenwheretheywerereceivedwithsomecheers.Wedefinitelyplantodothisagainin2014.ItisimportantforthecommunityDAcquistosays.HCRrunnersposewithMoleLakesupportrunnerswalkersin2008.ThelateLeoLaFernierRedCliffsharedwordsatHCRmorningceremonies.GatheringatPipestoneFallsnearLacCourteOreillesatthebeginningofHealingCircleRun.St.CroixelderandspiritualleaderBenRogerscenterprovidedmanyopeningprayersonbehalfoftheHCRandtherunnersovertheyearsandSt.Croixrunnersandwalkerscameinsupportfortheopeninglegoftherun.JasonStarkwithdaughterZaagachiiwe-gaabawikhelpedoutinthe2008HCR.