DAY 13: elkhorn

After a much needed day of rest, it was time to get moving again today. The earliest take off to date leaving at 6:45 am and the coolest morning we’ve had so far, a chilly 13 degrees. It was a great morning for a walk moving through some construction for the first 10 kms or so before the traffic picked up. Sgt Mckay joined us again today after 17.5 kms and helped us finish off the day which ended west of Elkhorn. So close to the Saskatchewan border with just kms remaining. As I stated in my last post, where has the time gone.

We are not done yet Manitoba but I’ll share with you some thoughts. We have met some fantastic people and received plenty of support from communities, agencies and police. Manitoba is close to my heart given the relationship and battles my community has faced with clean drinking water. Our community has always had ties to the city of Winnipeg. That includes our niece Jay Lynn. For those that are just familiarizing yourself with our story, the goal of this walk was to share the story of JayLynn. My niece was caught in the child welfare system in Manitoba, tragically as a result of the loss of both her parents, years and years of being moved around hardened her in a way no child should ever experience. It led to the loss of her life seven years ago. This pain doesn’t go away. I’ve always felt anger toward the province’s child welfare system and continue to do so to this day. Changes are coming slowly but they are not happening fast enough. Just in the last few weeks in Ontario, over ten children lost their lives while caught in the system.

Systems need to change, not just better policies or strategies for our youth, but also individual accountability. Our focus once the walk completes is to work with kids coming out of care and to partner with organizations to help youth transition into independent strong young people. We look forward to contributing in those ways when it comes to young people and their well-being. We believe Jay Lynn’s life had important purpose and we are carrying out this hard work for her.

Before we sign off for the night, we want to thank Dakota Ojibwe Child and Family Services yet again for their amazing assistance. Not only did they join as partners in our efforts, they provided us with accommodations from Brandon to Virden, Manitoba. Your understanding and support of this work is truly, truly appreciated.

To my friends back in Kenora. Elaine White and Toni White did a fundraising event and raised $676 for Hope in the Darkness. These two have been huge supporters of the walk since 2018 and they have been great again this year. Miigwetch ladies for your hard work always. We appreciate it and love you both.

One more night in Manitoba and to Saskatchewan we go. Have a good night folks.

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