Saturday, March 6th, loaded up at the Grafton Peace Pagoda and drove into Albany to pick up rest of walkers. After a wonderful breakfast hosted by Jen, Mike Aurora and Thatcher and a short prayer ceremony with the Albany Community, 20 people in four cars set out for western New York. Beautiful weather greeted us on the 325 mile trip to Steamburgh, New York. Steamburgh is in the southern part of the Seneca Nation, near Allegany State Park. We were met by the native people and many local supporters and offered a meal. Openiong ceremony started with Ganonyoh, then a talk by Lloyd Elm followed by Gahadago big drum with Lloyd Elm, Al White, Wayne Porter, David Paterson. Diane D'Arrigo of Nuclear Information Research Services gave an excellent overview and update of the West Valley Nuclear Waste Site. In operation for only 6 years, abandoned by it's corporate owners and left for New York State and the Federal Government to clean up. Forty years later, no good solutions appear and billions of dollars will follow billions of dollars will be spent on the cleanup. The sad part is that the government hasn't learned anything as they continue to fund new bombs at Y-12 in Oak ridge, Tennessee and new power plants in Georgia with no idea as to deal with the waste.
As most of you know, caring for Mother earth is a sacred native tradition as told to us in the Ganonyoh. The following day, we walked from Steamburgh to Salamanca on the old route 17. Minimally plowed and with barely any traffic, it was a spiritual treat and a good connection with mother earth. Moving to Ellicottville on the 8th, we were hosted in the historic Unity Church. For the last 2 days, we enjoyed home stays after walking. We walked to the West Valley site today ande prayed in the native and buddhist with other interfaith prayers offered.