Woman Running From Bears Ears To SLC For U.N. Conference
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A woman has been running the 360-mile distance between the Navajo Nation and Salt Lake City, carrying a piece of the Bears Ears National Monument with her.
Davina Smith has been running to Utah’s capital city with blessed herbs and plants in a backpack that has been blessed by a Navajo medicine man.
Smith, a Native American living in Monument Valley, began her run at Bears Ears two weeks ago.
She said Navajo’s consider the packet’s contents as medicine. She decided to run it to Salt Lake for the United Nations Civility Conference, which lasts from August 26 through 28.
The goal was to deliver the medicine packet to world leaders in an effort to heal all the toxic conversations regarding the environment.
Others have joined her cause over the course of her run. The group passed through Soldier Summit in Spanish Fork Canyon, running along U.S. Highway 6 Friday.
There are a few among us who find running in the middle of a hot day enjoyable, but Smith and her group were dedicated to their cause.
“It’s beautiful here,” said Davina Smith as she approached the summit.
For Smith, the sweat and pain of a run like this one are sweeter when it’s for something bigger.
“I have been carrying this medicine bundle,” she said as she took out the white leather-beaded pouch from her backpack. “This is the medicine from Bears Ears.”
Sumac, sage, and juniper were included in the blessed pouch.
“Everything from there is sacred,” she said during a running break. “We spent the whole day picking herbs from Bears Ears.”
Smith figured why not bring natural medicine to world leaders as a gift to discuss a cure what she feels is a dying planet.
“I’m bringing it as a form of healing,” she said. “This is a place we need to heal. There’s so much happening all over our world and right here in Utah. We need to come together. Let’s sit down. Let’s talk. Let’s heal from our discussions so we can help our environment.”
As the seeds of her cause were planted on social media, others have joined her run.
About a dozen people were part of the group Friday afternoon, but they’re expecting a lot more support and help as the U.N. Conference gets closer.
“When we go to the Capitol on Monday, we’re hoping we can have anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 people running with us or at least gathering with us at the Capitol,” said Adam Cowgill, who is part of the group.
“What we need to do is just come together and support each other and listen to each other and find solutions to these problems rather than yell at each other because these problems exist,” said Robyn Adamson, who is helping the cause by driving behind the group to support them with food and water.
In all, Smith will be running close to 360 miles.
That’s long by human standards.
“I’m going to lose a few toenails,” she said with a laugh.
However, she feels it’s nothing compared to what could be lost if people stop trying.
“It’s worth it,” she said.