Theland Kicknosway (@the_land on TikTok) joined SaultOnline with his mother to talk about his upcoming run/bike across Canada for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls and two spirit people.
Theland has had this dream of making this journey since he was 9 years old, when he asked his mother during an Earth Day clean up, what happens to the children of missing and murdered indigenous women?
“My mother didn’t actually have an answer for me at that time,” Theland shares, “ so we asked the same question to my Auntie Bridget, who is a co founder of Families of Sisters in Spirit, which is a not for profit here in the Algonquin region for families of the victims.”
“She told me something that resonates with me to this day: she said that, you know as the daughter of someone who has had their mother murdered, she told me that, we have to just keep on moving forward, we have to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how hard the struggle is. Anything that we have to deal with, it’s okay to take that breath for yourself, but you gotta keep moving forward and carry on their legacy in a good way.”
The idea for Theland’s Journey began when his school participated in the Terry Fox Run.
“I was like, Mom, let’s run across Canada! Let’s do it, but she kind of reminded me that Canada is huge, and that’s a big journey for a 10-year old,” Theland shares he then thought of making this a cross-province run in Ontario, when his Mom reminded him that Ontario is the biggest province in the country.
Theland compromised with his Mom, “why don’t I ask my Auntie Bridget if I can run to her house? She said ok, you can go ask her, but my Mom didn’t think she was going to say yes.”
Theland’s Auntie Bridget lived 134 kms away, and was happily supportive of Theland’s idea.
“So in 2015, we had completed our first 134 kms, running from the Gatineau Visitors Centre to Kitigan Zibi.” Theland completed that run with a group of supporters, Team Theland, for 4 years, when he revisited his original vision for the cross-Canada journey.
“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve had time to kind of sit, to be with our thoughts, with our spirits, be with our minds, and to think and evaluate how we want to continue our journey,” Theland shares.
Theland is making the cross-nation trip, starting in East Side Vancouver, back to the place where it all started at the Gatineau Park Visitor Center.
“We’re looking forward to it, it’s gonna be a struggle, it’s gonna be tough. But we know that what we’re doing is for the good of our people, and to raise awareness, and hopefully bring a little bit of justice to those families, and let their voices be heard.”
More to come from Theland’s Journey with SaultOnline.