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Blood Tribe man on cross-Canada journey

A personal tragedy inspired a Blood Tribe man to run across Canada for murdered and missing Indigenous women and men.

Johnny Bare Shin Bone is paying tribute to a nephew, along with other women and men, through Napi’s Run.

“My nephew got murdered in Calgary and that’s what got me going,” Bare Shin Bone said. “When something happens like this to us, nothing is done. Nobody gets charged or anything like that.”

Jovan Big Head was murdered in 2009.

“I just wanted to commemorate him and all the missing and murdered.”

Ramona Big Head and Johnny Bare Shin Bone display a banner for Napi’s Run 2023 for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Men at Blackfoot Crossing.

Napi’s Run 2023 for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Men started in St. John’s, NFLD on April 12 and will conclude in Victoria, B.C.

Bare Shin Bone, who works for the Blood Tribe Recreation and Parks department, explained he was in Vancouver when he dreamed about running across Canada.

Ramona Big Head, who is accompanying Bare Shin Bone on his journey, said her uncle came to her about two or three years ago with the idea of a cross-Canada run.

“Right off the bat I asked him, why are you running?” Big Head said. “He said, for missing and murdered Indigenous women and men.”

Big Head said in addition to supporting her uncle, the journey is good for her too.

“It is my own healing journey,” Big Head explained. “It’s really helped me to deal with my own personal grief in a positive way.”

Family, friends, Blood Tribe members and others have run alongside Bare Shin Bone on his journey.

A feast honouring Napi’s Run was held Wednesday — National Indigenous Peoples Day — at Blackfoot Crossing on the Siksika Nation.

Blood Tribe Councillor Martin Heavy Head conducts a headdress transfer ceremony for Johnny Bare Shin Bone.

A highlight of the feast was presentation of a headdress to Bare Shin Bone by Blood Tribe Coun. Martin Heavy Head.

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