Napi’s Run 2023 Journeys Across Canada to Raise Awareness for MMIWM and Mother Earth
By Blaire Russell, Communications Officer
Blood Tribe Communications & Community Engagement
On April 12, 2023, John Bare Shin Bone – ‘Staamiiksoosaak’ and a core group of runners from the Blood Tribe set foot in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on a relay-style cross-Canada journey to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Men (MMIWM) and Mother Earth. The core group of runners consisted of Lurlene Bare Shine Bone, Kenzie Cross Child, Dusty Old Shoes, Joey Fox, Clint Medicine Crane, and Ramona Big Head. The journey concluded on July 6, 2023, in Victoria, BC. Napi’s Run 2023 followed the TransCanada Highway, the same route as Terry Fox’s run for cancer research in 1980.
John Bare Shine Bone, a proud Kainaiwa member, was inspired to make the journey after a dream he had years before completing the nearly 7000 km run across Canada. John’s determination to make the journey was increased after the murder of his nephew, Jovan Big Head, in 2009. The run had daily dedications to missing or murdered Indigenous women and men across Turtle Island.
Napi’s Run 2023 had many supporters from across Turtle Island that joined the relay-style run and were warmly welcomed into the many communities they travelled through. The run also had immense support from Blood Tribe Leadership, departments, and many Kainai community members along the way. Napi’s Run 2023 organizer Ramona Big Head describes the run as a spiritual and healing journey for herself and numerous others that joined, many of which had missing or murdered family members.
On June 21, 2023, a headdress transfer ceremony for John was held at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park on the Siksika Nation, AB. The ceremony was attended by family, Blood Tribe community members, and supporters of Napi’s Run 2023 for MMIWM and Mother Earth. John Bare Shin Bone expressed his gratitude to those who showed up for the ceremony and encouraged his fellow Tribe members that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.
The Napi’s Run 2023 for MMIWM and Mother Earth runners will be honoured at the Kainai Powwow and Celebration 2023 on Sunday, July 23, 2023, during the Blood Tribe Chief & Council honour dance and giveaway. John Bare Shin Bone will be this year’s Kainai Powwow & Celebration Parade Marshal during the annual parade in Standoff, AB, on Sunday morning starting at 10AM. Follow Blood Tribe Communications & Community Engagement platforms for further information on these events.
Napi’s Run 2023 lead organizer John Bare Shin Bone and Blood Tribe elder and council member Martin Heavy Head. John Bare Shin Bone was honoured with a headdress at a transfer ceremony held at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park on the Siksika Nation, AB, on June 21, 2023. (Photo: Blaire Russell)
Napi’s Run 2023 for MMIWM and Mother Earth team with supporting runners approaching Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park on the Siksika Nation, AB on June 21, 2023. (Photo: Blaire Russell)