Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA - Early yesterday morning, the annual 500-Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon began at Pit River Territory in northern California. The runners are due to arrive at Sogorea Te, commonly known as Glen Cove, in Vallejo, California on June 23, after passing through the Mount Shasta area, along the Sacramento River and the shores of Clear Lake.
Chopping Fire Wood at Sogorea Te
They have been there with a sacred fire since mid-April to oppose the Greater Vallejo Recreation District's plan to spend $1.5 million on the proposed park that, if constructed, will have 15 parking spaces and two toilets at the Sogorea Te sacred burial site, which is 25 miles from San Francisco. Protesters call their protest a spiritual encampment.
Sogorea Te will be the final destination for the runners of the marathon. At the conclusion of the marathon, there will be a prayer circle to pray for the ancestral remains at Sogorea Te and other American Indian sacred sites around the United States.
The 500-Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon dates back to 1978. It was begun by Dennis Banks, the co-founder of the American Indian Movement and Cesar Chavez, who co-founded the United Farm Workers. The marathon's purpose is to carry the message of the sacredness of all life, the relationship to all living species, and of the need to maintain the delicate balance that exists between humankind and our Mother Earth.
Entrance to Sogorea Te
Last week, several Sogorea Te protesters distributed flyers about the protest at various annual events in and around Vallejo, including the annual Juneteenth Celebration in downtown Vallejo.
Sogorea Te was an Ohlone village that dates back 3,500 years. American Indians from various tribes from throughout the United States gather there for ceremonies at various times throughout the year.
posted June 20, 2011 9:57 am et
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