Safe schools

Two years ago, while doing research and reporting for my book, I joined an Active & Safe Routes to School walkabout at an elementary school in Ottawa. The intervention, part of a program led by a national non-profit called Green Communities Canada, is part of a process that involves collecting travel behaviour data, traffic observation…

Spring walk

“Tired of winter and can’t wait to get out and smell the fresh earth and hear the first sounds of spring? There couldn’t be a better way to experience spring’s emergence than a walk in the woods.” So say the good folks at the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, who have invited me to do a walk…

Go north

I have written about Innu surgeon Dr. Stanley Vollant’s inspiring six-year 6,000-kilometre walking project several times on this site, and in publications such as The Walrus, The Globe and Mail and Windspeaker. Now, add the Nunatsiaq News — a paper that serves Nunavut — to the list. At the end of the month, Vollant and about 20 other…

Indigenous capital

A few steps away from the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, there’s a statue of Mohawk chief Joseph Brant. I have walked, run and cycled past the statue dozens of times without noticing it. Which is one of the things that Metis educator and artist Jaime Koebel — the woman to Grant’s right in the above…

Two days, two walks, one with fire

I had an interesting weekend…. On Saturday, Innu surgeon Dr. Stanley Vollant (that’s him on the left with Justin Trudeau and Liberal aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett) came to Ottawa on the latest leg of his Innu Meshkenu walking project, a five-year 6,000-kilometre series of walks between every First Nations community in eastern and central…

Tar Sands Healing Walk

From June 27th to 29th, for the fifth time in as many years, there will be a walk in northeastern Alberta…. “This year we gather for the final Athabasca region Healing Walk. We do this not because the problem has been solved, or because justice has been served, or practices of honour and integrity have…

New York walking tours

  Last June, Bill Di Paola, one of the director’s of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, gave me a walking tour of the neighbourhood’s public gardens and squats. Di Paola is a pioneering cycling activist and community organizer, and the small but fascinating museum is a great stop in and…

The Longest Walk, 1978

  An early indigenous protest march in America, from California to Washington, D.C. Listen to one of its leaders, professor Lehman Brightman, speaking in the capital at the walk’s conclusion (below, with photos). Or read my piece from the Globe and Mail last year on the evolution of aboriginal walks in Canada.