Peace and Dignity Journey


Okhuu Downey, 5, Cree/Tewa/Wailaki, took a break during a community welcoming feast in Denver as a proclamation was read from Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter that declared July 13 ''Peace and Dignity Journey 2008 Day'' throughout the state.

Downey sometimes accompanies Peace and Dignity runners briefly, but spends most of his time playing, said his mother, Honey Desjarlais, Cree, who added that they are from Canada but travel widely throughout the U.S.

The two are participants on one of four U.S. routes of a quadrennial journey that began May 1 this year in Alaska and Argentina as part of a six-month practice of indigenous spirituality and tribute to sacred sites.

The routes, termed the Four Arrows, will meet in Taos, N.M., and continue together through the pueblos of the Southwest, southward through Mexico, and then on to Panama City Nov. 13.

In Denver, the runners went to two locations where the Gang Rescue and Support Project and other metro Denver gang coalition member agencies have been working to reduce gang violence.

The governor's proclamation praised the Peace and Dignity Journey 2008 for the ''positive impact it makes through prayer and advocacy for peace.''