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PNS Daily Newscast - July 13, 2018 


The FBI’s Peter Strzok spends 10 hours in open testimony in Congress. Also on the Friday rundown: Granite Staters protest AG Sessions' approach to fighting opioid abuse, and Latino Conservation Week starts on Saturday.

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A Long Walk Across TN and Beyond for the Earth

June 13, 2008

Knoxville, TN – It's a long walk from San Francisco, California to Washington, D.C. - more than 4,000 miles. An international group of walkers, from Native Americans to Japanese and Polish citizens, and even Buddhist monks, have reached the halfway point in their journey, here in Tennessee.

Their five-month trek to the nation's capital, named "Longest Walk 2," is being made to present Congress with what participants call a manifesto on the environment and the desecration of sacred native sites along the way. Randy Blakely, a member of the Choctaw tribe, says it's an issue of respect for history and the sanctity of the burial grounds.

"If a place contains the remains of our ancestors, we just ask for the respect that it be left alone; the same way a veterans' memorial would be respected."

The group's effort to clean up the environment they encounter along the way has another goal, according to Bonita Leonard, a member of the Warm Springs Klamath Nez Perce tribe - to engage and educate the public.

"We're walking on the bones and the blood of our ancestors, and we're asking for guidance to help create a better future for the next seven generations."

As its name suggests, the Longest Walk 2 is a sequel to the first event in 1978. It led to the defeat of legislation aimed at ending the native American treaties with the U.S. government. This time around, walkers say there is a great sense of history, and they want to teach others to appreciate the legacy.

The group reports some of the sacred sites are being contaminated with pollution from reclaimed water and coal burning. The walkers expect to meet with lawmakers to begin a dialogue they hope will result in changes in federal legislation. For more information about the event, visit www.longestwalk.org.

Barbara Dab/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - TN