On August 27th and 28th, the runners of the Peace and Dignity Journey will be coming into Pomona, CA, just one of their many stops along the way to Panama.
The Peace and Dignity Journeys was started in 1992 to continue in the spirit of the traditions of our ancestors. Every four years Indigenous communities all over North, Central and South America witness and partake in the tradition of receiving runners with ceremonies unique to their community, sharing stories, song, dance, and the wisdom that comes from community elders and ceremony. Peace and Dignity Journeys runners start simultaneously from both ends of the continent in Chickaloon, Alaska and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina traversing the entire continent by foot from community to community and joining together for a final gathering in Central America, Panama. The 2012 run is dedicated to Water, reminding all who have forgotten that Water is an important resource and a shared resource for all.
On the 27th, the runners will be welcomed to Pomona by Chief Tony Cerda of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe of Pomona (Ohlone). Says Cerda; ” We will be welcoming them on the 27th with a ceremony at Tony Cerda Park, they will stay the night, and on the next day, we will see them off with breakfast and another ceremony.”
It is a chance for the Ohlone to connect with, and strengthen their bonds with, other indigenous communities throughout North, Central, and South America. Music, songs, stories, and traditions will be shared and learned with the runners, who come from different tribes as well.
However, the Ohlone will not simply be welcoming the runners of the Peace and Dignity Journeys but joining them as well. Says Chief Cerda, “Two tribal members, Michael Oliva and Stevie Lopez will be joining them. I am very proud that we have tribal members who have stepped up and joined the run. They will be our ambassadors for the tribe and let everyone know that the Ohlone are still alive, still here.”