"There are many things to be shared with the Four Colors of humanity in our common destiny as one with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that must be considered with great care by the Elders and the medicine people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may come to people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces."
- Resolution of the Traditional Elders Circle (1980)
Day 27 - Wednesday, July 19, 1995 - The local Friendly's restaurant generously opened its doors to the walkers, and served the Sunbow mob a hearty breakfast -- whatever each individual wanted to eat. This high calorie launch gave the walkers a gust of vitality for the day, as they proceeded from the Susquehanna to Gunpowder State Park in Edgewood, Maryland.
In the early evening, over 70 people came out to the Sunbow camp at the park to sit by the fire, to talk, to learn about the walk.
Deeper in the evening, after a long drive south from Ottawa, Canada, a contingent of five long-awaited friends arrived: Ned Paschene of the Naskapi Cree, Charlotte Kitchen, also Cree from Waswanipi; Tom Dostou's daughter Dierdre; and Ken LeBlanc and Kathleen (Kay) Deschenes from the Kitigan Zibi Reserve in Manawaki, Quebec, the reserve where Grandfather Commanda lives.
Kay Deschenes shared with me that has admired Grandfather since she was a little girl. One day when she was age six her overcoat snagged on the door of a school van. She was dragged along the road for a long stretch, so badly scoured. bloodied, and banged up that she would not walk. The immediate pain of her wounds was so hot and intense that she was blinded.
Then Kay felt her pain ease as William Commanda held cool wet leaves against her skin burns to sooth the heat. She heard his soft prayers and felt the strengh of his healing. Light again came to her eyes.
Kay feared she might never walk again. But William kept visiting her in her home to comfort her with herbs and prayers, and she healed. She remembers hearing Grandfather assure her, many times, that she would grow up straight and strong to walk great distances in her lifetime. Now, this night as a mature woman, straight and strong and appreciative, Kay has come to join our long walk from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
In the excitement attending the arrival of the Canadians, Tom fetched Jacki from the camp, and took her by the arm to go and meet everyone in the parking lot. Unfortunately, walking through the woods in the dark he guided her into a hole. She twisted her ankle painfully, and will be limping for a few days.