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Fort Reno, U.S.A. - On June 1st, 2012, eight riders and a host of supporters are scheduled to set out from Fort Reno on a 1,391 mile journey in remembrance of the 1878 Cheyenne exodus.
The Ride Home was set in motion by Margaret Behan of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and Cheyenne Elders Council who will be joining the riders for prayers and healing ceremonies at key locations along the journey which spans seven states.
From Oklahoma through Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, the ride culminates in Lame Deer, Montana on July 28, 2012 at the 11th gathering of the Grandmothers Council.
At sacrifice sites along the route, Earth skill educators will share the lost wisdom of caring for the earth through storytelling, land stewardship and wilderness survival training for families. They will offer hands-on teachings of traditional skills such as fire making, shelter building, animal tracking, flint knapping, and more.
Inspired by Cherokee rider Noqah Elisi who first envisioned the ride after receiving a message in a vision quest instructing her to follow in the footsteps of her grandmothers, Margaret asked Juan Villarreal to organize the ride. Juan, a member of the Texas Lipan Apache and The Apache Language Preservation Committee, board member of the Tribal Native American Church and founder of Sacred Wind Earth Teachings, had never ridden a horse.
Juan immediately contacted Suzi Landolphi from Red Horse Nation, a Native American Horse program of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue to begin his horse training. Lifesaver is supplying all of the horses for the ride and is also the fiscal sponsor.
“My prayer is to bring spirit back to my people. So much has been lost. We need to bring our Cheyenne identity and pride back to the young people, teach them the traditional ceremonies and language,” says Grandmother Margaret Behan.
A film crew will be documenting the journey with acclaimed native filmmaker Chris Eyre acting as key advisor. Colin and Livia Firth are also associated with the journey and film.