by runner Leo Hellon, Warm Springs walkers left Saturday, July 14, for Portland, where they will meet up with Peace and Dignity runners from Alaska.
Manny Calapoo, who is coordinating the Warm Springs relay runners, said his uncle Hellon volunteered to run the first six-mile leg of the journey.
"Then we will run in relays to Frog Lake, our first camp, then to Troutdale and Chinook Landing, where we will meet the N'chi Wanapum canoe family from Warm Springs, July 15," Calapoo said.
Coincidentally, the canoe team launched into the Columbia River on July 12, on its journey to Squaxin Island in Washington, and will be camping at Chinook Landing at the same time as the runners.
The Peace and Dignity run from Alaska to South America is being done by tribal runners to urge people to "Honor the Water," by preserving it from pollution, which will help save the salmon for future generations.
Calapoo said Mel Huey, Oregon run coordinator, and Hector Macias, coordinator of the Alaskan runners, will join the Warm Springs group for part of their "tributary" relay.
On Columbia Boulevard in Portland, on July 16, the Warm Springs runners will meet with the Native American Youth Association running team from Alaska to show their support. They will also present an eagle staff for the NAYA runners to carry to South America.
Runners on the Warm Springs team include Randy Blakely from California, Richard Wise Bear from Ontario, a woman named Jamal from Hood River (for Sunday only), Calapoo, Hellon, Huey and Macias. Three support vehicles will carry supplies and runners as they trade off during the relay.
Calapoo's last walk was across the U.S. to Washington, D.C., from February to July 2011, in support of diabetes education.
Calapoo said people can check the Pioneer Facebook page for his postings from the road.