Walker Frequently Asked Questions

Download FAQs:
What is the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights?
Who is welcome to join?
Can I participate after registration is closed?
Can I join the walk for part of the day?
What does the daily schedule look like?
Where are the walkers staying along the way?
What if I can’t walk 25 km to 35 km’s? Can I still come?
Do I have to carry all my stuff?
Are there any rest days?
Is the Pilgrimage collaborating with and visiting Indigenous communities?
Are there local ways to get involved?
How much does it cost to participate in this pilgrimage?
Why are churches being invited to participate in the Pilgrimage?
What is the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights?
  • A 600 km walk from Kitchener to Ottawa engaging churches in a series of conversations about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, exploring why it matters, the hope it offers, and how we can collectively live into it. See the route map.
Who is welcome to join?
  • Anyone and everyone who cares about the rights of Indigenous peoples and loves long walks! A significant desire is for us to mobilize Church communities so that we are “doing our own homework” in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. However, we welcome persons and communities of other religious traditions to join the walk as well, and we will find ways to honour the gifts that such persons/communities bring and would like to share. We expect to be a wonderfully diverse group – Indigenous and Settler, Christian and Traditional, old and young, together.
Can I participate after registration is closed?
  • Yes. We warmly welcome you to join the Pilgrimage for a section of the journey, even if it’s just for a few hours or a day. Our desire is to welcome as many walkers as possible. However, after the registration deadline of March 31, we cannot offer food and accommodations, as we are working with limited space in certain host communities. You will need to find your own travel to connect up with us, and to make your own way home. See the map.
Can I join the walk for part of the day?
  • Yes, and please invite your friends to come with you. Please note that casual day-walkers will need to bring their own food and drink. We can only offer provisions for multiple day-walkers who have registered in advance.
What does the daily schedule look like?
  • Eat a big breakfast – stretch and pray – walk 25 to 35 kms and enjoy snacks, lunch, conversation and many roadside bathroom breaks  – arrive at host church – feast! – do an event or sharing circle on the Declaration  – debrief – pray – slip into sleeping bags [repeat X (up to) 22 days].
Where are the walkers staying along the way?
  • We’re looking to a variety of churches – everything from Anglican to Pentecostal, Baptist to Catholic – to host us in their sanctuaries and basements. We also welcome offers to stay at other community spaces. It’ll be simple – just sleeping bags and mats.
What if I can’t walk 25 km to 35 km’s? Can I still come?
  • It’s possible! We will have a support vehicle that can help some folks with the distance that we will be travelling. Register and we’ll see what we can do.
Do I have to carry all my stuff?
  • Everyone will need to have a daypack to carry basic supplies – water, snacks, sandwich, sweater, toilet paper – for the day. But you won’t need to carry your clothing and sleeping gear.
Are there any rest days?
  • Some people will be walking every day of this pilgrimage. But we’ll make sure that those who walk multiple days have an opportunity to rest tired legs if they need to do so. Our support vehicle will provide the opportunity to drop people off at our destination point where folks can rest and help prepare for any evening events.
Is the Pilgrimage collaborating with and visiting Indigenous communities?
  • Yes! A number of Indigenous friends are part of our Discernment Circle, helping us think about and reflect critically on this Pilgrimage. We will also be inviting and learning from local Indigenous voices at a number of the public events that we facilitate along the way. And we will be reaching out to make respectful connections as we walk through the homelands of the Anishinaabe, Algonquin, Haudenosaunee, and Iroquois peoples.
Are there local ways to get involved?
  • We’d love it if you and your communities would support the Pilgrimage. Here are some ideas:
    • Each day of the walk you’ll find both up-to-date blog posts and our daily prayer material. Please read and pray with us!
    • On Sunday May 14 the Pilgrimage will be walking to Parliament Hill. We encourage churches to set aside that Sunday to talk about Indigenous rights. We would also love it if communities would organize a Walk for Indigenous Rights on that day to raise awareness in their towns and cities about the need to adopt the Declaration. Let us know if you’re organizing something, and we’ll post it.
    • If you live along the route, help promote the Pilgrimage in your community.
    • Please Sign the Petition! We want to encourage the Federal Government to take a huge step towards reconciliation by adopting and implementing the Declaration.
    • Send us a message of support on our Facebook page and spread the word to your friends about this initiative.
    • Donate online to the costs of the Pilgrimage.
How much does it cost to participate in this pilgrimage?

We are asking walkers to pay $25 per day if they are walking for 6 days or less and $15 per day if they are walking 7 days or more. This cost covers food and accommodations for the journey. If you would like to participate in the pilgrimage but the cost poses a problem for you, please contact us. We would love to have you join the pilgrimage!

Why are churches being invited to participate in the Pilgrimage?
        In Luke 10 , a lawyer asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus recounts the story of the Good Samaritan after which the lawyer answers his own question: “The one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.” The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report invited actions for churches to heal and reconcile our relationships with Indigenous peoples in light of the abuse that resulted from Canada’s church-run Residential School System. To ignore such  an invitation is not in keeping with who we are as Christians and as churches. The Residential School System sought to force Christianity upon a entire people group. Some call it “cultural genocide.” The church must recognize the harm done. As Christians we believe that Jesus calls us to reconcile broken relationships when we have harmed others. The Pilgrimage is one opportunity, among others, to live into that way of peace.
Have more questions that need answering?

Email us and we’ll do our best to answer!