The Dakota Nation Unity Riders are carrying their message of healing to the Hudson Valley. After a mass execution of their ancestors in Minnesota around the time of the Civil War, the Dakotas intend to bring peace and reconciliation from their home base of Manitoba, Canada to the White House, and many stops in between.
The First Nation Dakota People of Manitoba are bringing their Unity Riders to the Hudson Valley. The entire journey will cover 4,000 miles. The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign is joining with the Dakota Unity Riders and Two Row paddlers will take to canoes and kayaks along the Hudson River. Together, they hope to journey through a summer of unity, on land, in the water, and through the wind.
David Kaczynski is executive director of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Woodstock. He notes the themes of The Unity Ride are peace and reconciliation.
He says the need for healing is a timeless one.
The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut occurred in December 2012. Kaczynski, a former WAMC Person of Courage honoree, says he visited Newtown in June, and notes the Unity Ride will spend two days there.
In addition, another event was recently organized for the Unity Riders’ Newtown stop. Father John Nelson, with the Holy Transfiguration of Christ-on-the-Mount Western Rite Orthodox Church in Woodstock, is organizing the ride in the Hudson Valley. He says in conjunction with the Newtown-based Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard, there will be a moment in history.
This event is to take place August 5. The Battle of Little Bighorn, Custer’s last stand, was the Army's 7th Cavalry fight against Indian tribes in 1876. After opening the ride for the Hudson Valley region in Troy, the riders will participate in numerous events, including the International Walk for Peace in Woodstock and a ride on the Walkway over the Hudson pedestrian bridge. They also will attend events in Saugerties, Beacon, and Yonkers. They are scheduled to end up at the White House August 17.
As to how Father Nelson became involved in organizing the ride, and promoting it though Live Peace International, he replies:
KTD Monastery’s Kaczynski sees a certain path toward healing.
Father Nelson says he will accompany the Dakotas on the ride, sometimes on horseback.
Father Nelson notes the ride is not sponsored, or near fully funded, and they are still raising money.