day 85: SOul SINGING

5 to go.

From gorgeous British Columbia we are through another day. Another great day of walking starting our move at 8:30 am on highway # 7. With a coffee in hand, while wearing mitts and a toque, it felt chilly despite the temperature gauge registering at 12 degrees. The shade from the big hills really does seem like it’s darker and colder than it really is. Once the sun comes over those hills it’s time to remove layers as it warms quickly.

We moved through the Chawathil First Nation community, again enjoying the light traffic. Seeing a group of three women up ahead, I thought they were waiting for transportation but when I asked what they were up to they jokingly responded “WAITING FOR YOU.” They heard about the walk and came out to greet us. We learned they were council members from the community and we are happy they came out to support. We shared some of our journey before leaving on our way to get to the next stop for the day. Thank you to Rose Peters, Chawathil Band Manager, Councillor Deanna John, Chief Rhoda Peters for greeting us.

The rest of the walk was fairly flat and I’m glad we are out of those hills. Another relaxing pace just soaking it all in with just six walking days to go. We got to Seabird Island Band and were met by health staff and the Stó:lō Nation Tribal Council. We are excited to announce the Stolo Nation Tribal Council has joined Hope in the Darkness as a partner. Much gratitude to the Stolo communities we have had the opportunity to meet and visit. A brief visit before walking three kms with the group to the Seabird school. A good walk learning of the community and discussion on mental health.

The community is in good hands while having several programs including employment assistance services. What better way to get young people going then by preparing and assisting with employment and transit support. They offer so much more and there are huge success stories coming from this program. Helping young people with life skills is one way to help them find purpose. Great job.

The community has all the common services but I love that two recovery homes that house 13 in each of the two homes is in community. Considering the drug crisis, members are able to access these supports while able to have housing while in recovery. I hear often about those who want to recover but are often left in situations where getting clean almost seems impossible. Living in the same lifestyle often leads to relapse. A change of atmosphere is required. These homes provide that. Great job.

We made our way to the school and were greeted by the students, staff and some young drummers/singers. Drummers Matthaus, Adam, Nora, Michael and Pete sang two powerful songs, their voices so strong as they sang individually. No shyness but singing hard from the heart with confidence. Love seeing these proud strong youth we have witnessed perform out here on this journey and today was no different. Keep being those strong leaders with powerful voices and warrior ways. Your talent is inspiring and uplifting. Wish you could join us in Vancouver.

After the social distancing Seabird Island Community School visit that also included a therapy dog named Dio, we continued on for the remaining seven kms. Thank you to the organizers at Seabird Island for inviting us to stop in. Also thanks to Fraser Health for the goodies. Such an enjoyable stop over while sharing the Hope in the Darkness story. Some amazing people we met today and we thank the community for having us visit.

Thank you to Alistair for coming out again today. The gift you got shows that those in community appreciate you and your work in this area. Miigwetch for the escort.

We have more company tomorrow as we make our way through Chilliwack, British Columbia.

Wishing you all a good night

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