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PAGE3MAZINAIGANSUPPLEMENTSPRINGSUMMER201489SOLIDARITYRUNByJuly101989thestartoftherelaythecorerunnershadgrownto24nativesandnon-nativescommittedtomakethe400plusmilesconnectingsevenreservations.Localcoordinatorsateachstophadalsobeenrecruitedtohelpor-ganizecommunityrunnerstojointherelayforthemilescominginandleavingeachdestination.CoordinatorsincludedEmmanuelPolarMoleLakeSokaogangiiweMartinLVDPattyMayotteBadRiverMarvinDeFoeandDianeBearRedCliffGeneConnorSt.CroixMichaelTaylorandJohnAndersonLacCourteOreillesandErnieSt.GermaineatLacduFlambeau.SomeoftherunnersmetwithLacCourteOreilleselderEugeneBegayNiigaaniigabowatLacduFlambeausRoundHousethenightbeforewhereheofferedthemwordsofencouragement.LeadingthewayoutofthepowwowgroundswereLCOsJohnAndersonandformerLdFChairmanMikeAllenwhocarriedtheflag.AccordingtoErnietherewaslittleorganization.Somerunnerswantedaplanlikearunningorderbuttherewasntonehestates.Theyjuststartedoffcoveringthemiles.RunnersrelayedastaffcarvedbyErnieoverthemileswithallmembersoftheteamrunningtogetherthroughthetownsbutrelayingthemilesbetween.TheirfirstdestinationwastheMoleLakereservationsome60plusmilesaway.Eachstopatthesevenreser-vationsprovedauniqueandwarmexperience.Theywereoftenmetbycommunitymemberswhotookthestaffandcoveredthefinalmilesforthem.Similarlyinthemorningmomsdadsyouthandeldersweretheretohelpthemontheirway.TherelaysparkedanoutpouringatthereservationsSt.Germainerelates.ThepeopletalkedaboutcomingtogetherinthiswayasOjibwepeopleandsharedfoodlaughterandhealing.Daysendedwithfeastsprayersandceremoniesatthehostreserva-tions.TherelayreceivedaneaglefeatherfromeachcommunityfeathersthatwerelaterplacedonErniesstaff.Fortherunnersthecircuitwasanincrediblehealingexpe-rienceErnieexplains.ItwasatRedCliffthattherelaywasget-tingtothepointwherethespiritscomehesays.Therunnerswerewearytheyhaddone120milesin90-degreeheatthedaybefore.Theywerehalfwaythroughtherelay.giiwerecallsItwashot.Weweretotallyfried.TheywonderedHowarewegoingtodothisButatRedCliffFrankDickinsonperformedaceremonyfortherunnersbystrokingtheirlegswithtwoeaglefeath-ers.TherunnersalsoreceivedcedarfortheirleftshoeandFrankexplainedhowthatmedicinewouldaidthemintheirrun.DianeBearwhosmudgedeveryonealsoofferedhealingmedicines.MyfeetweresoblisteredIdidnotthinkIcouldrunthenextdayrecallsgiiwebutthosemedicineshealedherblisteredfeet.Everyoneachedfromtheeffort.WellthepainwentoutofthemjustgoneErnieexplained.FrankwasaskingtheSpiritstowatchoverus.Itisimportantforpeoplebreakingyourselfdown.ThisiswhentheSpiritscome.Spiritscomemoreeasilytoyouthbutolderpeopleneedtogetpitiful.Theyneededtogoabout100milestoreachSt.Croixthenextday.WithfreshclothingthankstotheeffortsofGretchenMorrisacoreteamrun-nerfromRedCliffwhostayedupandwashedeveryonesclothesthatnighttheteamtookoffthenextmorningrefreshed.WemadeittoSt.CroixlikewalkingonairErniesays.AtanotherjunctureintherelayanelderfromSt.CroixandacoreteammemberEvaConnorfacedastiffupwardclimbduringherleg.OthersofferedtodothelegforherErniesaid.ButEvarefusedtherelief.Asagestureofsupporttheentireteamranwithherontheuphilltrek.AtthetopofthehillErniesanganHonorSongrecognizinghereffort.AspecialstopintherelayoccurredattheAinDahIngTreatmentCenterinSpoonerWisconsinwheretheRelaywasgiventhreeeaglefeathersbycounselorHaroldFroggoneeachforcouragewisdomandserenity.ThesewerepresentedtoNeilandKemobothVietnamveteransandlaterplacedonastaffcarriedbyKemo.Haroldsaidtherewasafourthfeatherthatwouldcomelater.MetbyEugeneBegayLCOspiritualleadertheAnishinaabeSolidarityRelayconcludedastherunnersenteredtheLacCourteOreillespow-wowgrounds.ItwasBegaywhotoldthemeverystepwasaprayerandeveniftherunnersweregreetedwithhostilityinsomecommunitiesBegaytoldthemthosepeoplewillsomehowbeaffectedbytherelay.Whentherelayendedmostcorerunnershaddifficultyfacingareturntoeverydaylife.Allagreedthe450-miletrekwasaonce-in-alifetimeprivilegeandhopedtheenthusiasmshownateachreservationespeciallytheoutpouringofyouthfulrunnerscouldberecapturedinsomefashiononanannualbasisasapartialantidotetorampantunemploymentandalcoholismwrotecoreteamrunnerChrisDanielsoninanaccountappearingintheFall1989issueofMazinaigan.ForErniethecoreteammembersbecamecloselikebrothersandsistersandmanyhavestayedintouch.WestucktogetherstayedonatightcaravantheentirerelayErniesays.Itwassuchaspiritualexperienceitbecameahealing.Oftentherunnersstayedtogetherinaclosecaravanastheycoveredthemiles.RunnersincludeJohnAndersonEvaConnorsBethReedNickVanderPuyMikeTaylorDougLiphartLarryNesperandErnieSt.Germaine.BadRiverelderEthelPlucinskicarriedthestaffforastretchnearOdanah.AttheSokaogonMoleLakereservationanothereaglefeatherwasaddedtothestaff.RunnersErnieSt.GermaineLDFandMikeTaylorLCOaregreetedbyMoleLakesEmanuelDocPolerandTimRandall.AttheAinDahIngTreatmentCenterinSpoonerNeilandGaryKmiecikacceptedthreeeaglefeathersonbehalfoftheRelayfromHaroldFroggAinDahIngcounselor.ThefeathersrepresentingcouragewisdomandserenitywereplacedonaveteransstaffcarriedbyGaryKmiecik.Laterafourthfeatherwouldbepresentedtotherunners.MemoriesofSadieMartinVallierewhowas14yearsofageasoneoftherstyearscorerunners...TheHealingCircleRunbringsbacksomanyhappymemoriesforme.Iremembersomanysmilingfacesalongtheway...Irememberthefeelingofbelongingduringatimeofawkardadolescence...Irememberfeelingatremendoussenseofpridewhencarryingtheeaglestaff...IrememberadmiringthebeautyofMotherEarthwhilerunningmypartofthejourney...Iremembertheamazingfriendships...IrememberhowhotitwasandthinkingIcouldnotrunanotherfoot...IrememberhowgratefulIwastobepartofthiscoregrouprunningforsolidarityandpeace...IrememberhowIdidntwantittoend