Don’t be afraid to get creative
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Mike Volpe


2000  MILE  WALK

on The Trail of Hope

To raise awareness of the significance of Chief Tamanend,  William Penn’s Treaty of Friendship and its principals of social justice, peace, liberty, freedom, and mutual respect, while connecting the history of our past to the events of present day, the Trail of Hope brings together universal truths among humankind.

A 2,000 mile walk lasting for six months will begin on March 23, 2011.

There will be no corporate sponsors and no cars following with supplies. Peter Prusinowski, a resident  of Fishtown, will leave Penn Treaty Park at 9 a.m. to begin a solo journey.

Armed with his cameras, his walk will trace the Lenape Indian migration from the Delaware Valley to Bartlesville, Oklahoma and highlight events along the way on what he is calling “The Trail of Hope.”

Prusinowski  came to the United States from Poland in 1976. His love of history and a discovery of the world of photography merged and began to shape his new life. The story of William Penn and Tamanend and their 1682 Treaty of Friendship became part of what he feels is his destiny. “My desire to spread the life altering elements of love, peace and friendship among humanities mirrored the very intentions of William Penn in 1682 along the riverbank in the same neighborhood I immigrated to.”

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Under the shade of the Great Elm Tree, as leaves rustled gently in the breeze, the voices of two very different cultures could be heard sealing a unique Pact; a Pact whose spirit of Peace, Love and Friendship has endured from generation to generation.

The Treaty between William Penn and Chief Tamanend, a “treaty never written, never broken,” serves as an inspiration to all mankind. Peace can conquer adversity, misunderstanding and disparity. No culture, creed, or background can deny the premise that we all are united by the same human spirit, that “we are of one flesh and one blood”.

The Trail of Hope traces the Lenni Lenape Indian migration route from the East Coast to the Midwest and explores historical sites and events along the way. The Trail of Hope brings together the plight of Native Americans and the monumental events which helped to make the United States the nation it is today.

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Trail of Hope– a 2,000 miles journey

The TRAIL of HOPE traces the Lenape Indian migration from the Delaware Valley all the way to Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Each step is a tribute; each location is part of a quest. The myriad of events which occurred during the past 400 years are connected to the occurrences of today and the social issues we encounter.

As I take this Trail I will be reminded of the blood, sweat, and tears which once covered the very ground I walk upon along the way.

This journey brings together the past and the present as an effort to inspire a more hopeful future.

This trail is not only about Hope but about Unity as well.

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My name is Peter Prusinowski and this is my story:

As a young boy growing up in Poland, there was a certain, unexplainable joy I felt running and laughing alongside my friends while playing soccer. It was as if the world stood in a state of perfect harmony, even if that was far from the truth.  In high school I spent a great deal of my free time playing a variety of sports and chasing girls. I was also captivated by American Western movies. Actors such as John Wayne influenced my perceptions about not only America but the world as a whole, with values of honesty, loyalty, and bravery could be applied to all of humanity as well.And there was John Lennon whose music influenced and inspired so many.

That’s what ignited my spirit of imagination and adventure deep within my soul. With a passion for life and a curiosity for the world around me, I packed up and moved to Paris. I found myself immersed with new and uncensored ideas about the world. This entirely new perspective caused me to crave exploration and discovery even more.
Two years later my friend and I decided to go to America. As I said goodbye to my family and friends, I felt as if this move would be a permanent one. My friend and I landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a city which would forever change my life.

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Penn's Treaty

The sun shone brightly on a gathering of Quakers and Lenni Lanape Indians as the waves from the Delaware River gently lapped the shore. Under the tender shade of The Great Elm Tree, William Penn, an English Quaker and Tamanend, a Lenni Lanape Indian Chief, made a unique Pact which would forever change the course of history.

The Great Elm Tree, once rooted in an area of present day Philadelphia formerly known as Shackamaxon, served as a symbol of strength, peace and friendship. The two leaders stood strong as one, like the Great Elm, on that fateful day in 1682.

Known as “the treaty never written, never broken,” Penn’s Treaty of Amity and Friendship established a peaceful coexistence between two very different cultures.  William Penn founded this Treaty on the Quaker principals of equality, integrity and peace. In return, Chief Tamanend bestowed a great gift upon Penn, sealing the pact with a Native American wampum belt. These two cultures formed a “chain of friendship,” that lasted for more than 70 years.

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Lenape Indians

For thousands of years, along rivers and streams in what is now known as the Delaware Valley, villages made up of oval and rectangular bark wigwams could be found. Children were seen running, squealing in delight, and playing games with one another. The women of the village, in knee length skirts, were seen tending to the farm, cooking and caring for the children. The men, donning their breechcloths and leggings, hunted, fished and traded to provide for their families. These communities were known as the Lenni Lenape Indians, translated as “the true people.”

The  Lenape Indians aka Delaware Indians lived in relatively permanent villages along the waterways in the Delaware Valley. They would travel in dug out canoes for trading furs or gathering supplies to aid farms. At first, white settlers and the Indians were able to cohabitate peacefully. From the Swedish, to the Dutch and eventually to English Quakers led by William Penn, peaceful coexistence was a common element among the Indians and the White man. They traded ideas, goods, and lived in the Delaware Valley as a community of different cultures.


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Where It All Began:

On the banks of the Delaware River, directly northeast of center city Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you will find a small and vibrant community known as FISHTOWN.  This unique and energetic neighborhood is full of history, arts and culture. It is also home to the monumental place where William Penn and the Lenni Lenape Indians made the Treaty of Amity and Friendship in 1682.

Fishtown was originally known as Shackamaxon settlement.  The first inhabitants of the area were Native Americans – Lenni Lenape,  who farmed and fished on the agriculturally prosperous land.

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Penn Treaty Museum

The Penn Treaty Museum, an online museum, celebrates the 1682 Treaty of Friendship made between Lenni-Lenape Chief Tamanend and William Penn under the branches of a majestic elm. Sealed by the presentation of a wampum belt, many people believe this simple act of friendship represents the best of our human spirit.

The museum collection keeps the story of the Treaty Tree alive through poetry, art, written word, music and in relics made from the Treaty Tree and its offspring. The Museum commemorates the principles of fairness, peace and social justice that are symbolized by the Treaty Tree, a tree finally toppled on March 5, 1810 in a violent storm.

The museum sponsors educational events open to the public to share the timeless story of the Treaty.

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Life’s inner thoughts

Looking at Mother Nature one can easily notice that diverseness is precisely what provides the natural world not only with its magnificence and beauty, but additionally its capability and strength. 
Existence wouldn’t blossom if everything was virtually identical.

Our emotions and thoughts are exactly what link us to our genuine truth and allow us to develop into much more conscious of what’s taking place within the facade. 
Yet, for most people, it’s complicated to be aware of or express our emotion because we’ve been accustomed to neglect or not recognize our inner thoughts.
We all are so different and distinctive, with various interests, pursuits, as well as talents. We were created to convey and rejoice all of those diverse shades! As a culture, we’ve been squeezed into the status quo for way too long.
Once we make it possible for ourselves to express ourselves legitimately, our vulnerability effortlessly attaches us with others.

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St Tammany Day Revival – May 1

The bells rung loud and clear, as a group of love, peace and amity supporters celebrated Tammany Day, this first day of May, right here in Philadelphia. It’s been a long, long time since last May’s festivities, but thanks to the Old City Civic Association, once again Saint Tamanend , a symbol for native-born Americans, was recognized. 

At Tamanend Statue, May 1, 2012

Through generations Tamanend has been adored and highly regarded for his virtues of integrity, ethics, honor, value, justice, as well as equality for the common individual.

 Why May 1st.?

The earliest May Day activities came out in pre-Christian times, along with the celebrations, get togethers, customs or other activities around that period. The actual day has been a traditional summer time festive in numerous pre-Christian European civilizations.      February 1 was the very first day of Spring, May 1 was the very first day associated with summer season; therefore, the summer solstice about June 25 ended up being Midsummer. The term solstice originates from Latin sol – sun, and sistere – to stand still.   May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 244 days left over till the conclusion of the year.

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Many have tried before, but I guess it takes special charisma to fulfill the task. For decades many more very committed people persisted on recognizing Penn Treaty Park as a historic place. And for decades nothing happened.

There are times when we discover that life’s circumstances are not always what we might wish them to be. There are moments in our lives when things do not go as planned. Yet we cannot allow those unpredictable obstacles hold us back from putting our efforts into choosing a path to work towards direction of our goals.

And this Saturday, we’ll have a chance to meet some of those amazing people, a very special individuals.

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Another Step

To have striven, to have made the effort, to have been true to certain ideals – this alone is worth the struggle.  Wm. Penn

The legacy of Penn Treaty Park is over 330 years old.  And from the early years it was always a Sacred Ground.

It took over 2 centuries to make it a public Park. Many individuals cherished and tended this place, committing their own believes and hopes on the importance of preservation. Finally, after years of efforts Penn Treaty Park was recognized and registered by Philadelphia Historical Commission.

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Our 11 miles Celebration Walk

tamanend, native americans, walking across us, philadelphia, peace

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – Wm Penn   


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A Time to Sing, a time to Dance, a time to Celebrate

elm tree, penn treaty, william penn, native americans, delaware indians, lenape indians

The Truly Amazing Elm Tree agreement at Shackamaxon perceived right before heaven and earth William Penn and Chief Tamanend representing their unique nations, created the understanding of peacefulness, friendship along with love. This assembly was not to trade or even acquire any territory but to rejoice and confirm the friendly relationship of love and dedication. Next towards the moving rich waters of the Delaware River and beneath the outstretched boughs of a Great Elm tree has been recognized what has been known as the Great Treaty. Reviewing out of books relates this history regarding the agreement created among these two nations as:

Great Elm Tree at Haverford Collage

There endures just the basic oral custom concerning the actual Great Elm, and the certain recollections associated with an aged woman that stated to have got seen the actual event as a youthful young lady. The woman recalled it strongly not due to the fact she recognized at the time its historic importance: parleys with the Indians had been frequent situations on the frontier in those days. She remembered it clearly due to the fact Penn had been the handsomest person she had ever before experienced, prior to or even since. This woman furthermore informed of the special event following the actual agreement formalities concluded. The attractive Penn had been wondrous, his state of mind overflowing. He consumed the Indian meals with relish, and settled to learn their own language so he could communicate with his brand new friends personally.

And then something remarkable occurred that created the night even more unforgettable to the young girl. The Indians started dancing in celebration, to jump as well as jump with the throb of the drums, and to whoop and chant their particular unusual sounds. 


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The Life we Live and the Life we Choose

The actual Way of Saint James, el Camino de Santiago

  towards the Spanish and Le Chemin de Saint Jacques is actually a 1,000-year old pathway from France to northern Spain.

Millions of pilgrims stepped throughout the years. Some journey by foot, a few cycle bikes as well as some also by horse back. There are a number diverse tracks and beginnings of the trail. The actual walk leads to the town of Santiago de Compostela exactly where the remains of Saint James are laid to rest.

Backpackers walk the trail as a quest and a way of experiencing and uncovering personal life. There are a lot of unique causes for trekking the Camino de Santiago.                  

Catholics tend to be hiking as a faith based pilgrimage, a journey of amazing christian importance adhering to in the actions of many other pilgrims. Some others tend to be walking for a spiritual magnitude, seeking to restore to discover or …..


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Rediscovering the Seed of Peace

william penn, penn treaty, penn treaty park, native americans, delaware indians, lenape indians, peace

Holding his dream in his heart, William Penn sighted the Delaware Bay in 1682 and arrived at Shackamaxon, where he was greeted by its inhabitants, Lenape Indians.
It was here, next to the gently flowing waters of the Delaware River, and under the shade of Great Elm tree William Penn entered into the Great Treaty with Chief Tamanend.
Those two leaders made a covenant of peace, love and friendship with one another. A powerful commitment witnessed before heaven and earth. It spoke of Faith and Unity, and it spoke of Hope.

Let’s Celebrate that Hope.

Rediscovering the SEED of Peace

The 1st. anniversary of the 2000 MILE WALK on The Trail of Hope.

To raise awareness of the significance of Chief Tamanend, William Penn’s Treaty of Friendship and its principals of social justice, peace, liberty, freedom, and mutual respect, while connecting the history of our past to the events of present day, the Trail of Hope brings together universal truths among humankind. 

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You Are Invited

trail of hope, peter prusinowski

The Galleries at The Gershman Y 401 S. Broad st. Philadelphia, Pa 19147


“Corporeal” & “Trail of Hope”

January 6 – February 19, 2012

Alumni artists from The Center for Emerging Visual Artists:
Maria Anasazi, Susan Benarcik, Ava Blitz, Brooke Hine, and Leslie Speicher
Photographs of an amazing walk to Olkahoma: Peter Prusinowski
a.k.a., Image Whisperer

Join Me !

It’s that time of year …

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holydays and a Wonderful New Year!

Every day should be like it is a holiday, being thankful, grateful and spending time with family, and looking with Hope to the future surrounded by Love.

May the true Spirit of the Season find you and fill your heart with health, joy, and abundance of happiness.

We all have different paths in life, but no matter where we go the Spirit of the Holyday brings back the beautiful moments and happy memories wherever we are.

To you and your family; Love, Peace and Amity this Holyday and always.

Back in the Saddle Again

Ever since I’ve returned to Philadelphia, I’ve been tying up lose ends and acclimating to life after the Trail of Hope. Things have been quite busy since my return.

            About a month ago I traveled back to Warsaw, Poland to visit my parents. I had a wonderful visit but my mind was captured by the reality of time. It was bittersweet to see my parents, succumbing to the inevitable power of old age. I was happy I could visit but sad I had to leave them when it was time to head back to America.

            On October 21st, I held a photo exhibit, entitled “Fruits of Solitude,” at the Penn Treaty Park Museum which featured photos I took on the Trail. I had a great time talking with visitors about my experience. There will be another photography exhibit in early January.

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Fruits of Solitude

photo Exhibition

don’t forget , Photography Exhibition

from the Trail of Hope ; this Friday October 21. at Penn Treaty Museum

Hope to see many of you ….

 Visual Artists Self-Promotion – Inspiration – – Change life, Dream Big!

To All the Beautiful People

Words cannot convey my gratitude for all the beautiful people who came to my ” Fruits of Solitude” Photography Exhibition.
Your attendance made it that much more of a celebration , celebration of Love, Peace and Amity.
Great humor and lively conversations added to the occasion.
I was honored to see so many “old” and new friends supporting my Photographic efforts.
I am so grateful to all kind and generous that followed me along the Trail of Hope.
Again, I give you my sincerest thanks.

Shadow Catcher

Shadow Catcher-  Edward S. Curtis and North American Indians

Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)   life long dedication , who gave his entire life and fortune to record on photographic film the memories of the last Native Nations of North America from the Apache, down in the South, to the Nunivak in Alaska.

In 1906 J.P. Morgan offered Curtis $75,000 to produce a series on the North American Indian. It was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Morgan was to receive 25 sets and 500 original prints as his method of repayment. 222 complete sets were eventually published.

 Curtis’ goal was not just to photograph, but to document, as much American Indian (Native American) traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared. He wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907: “The information that is to be gathered … respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost.”

 Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Indian language and music. He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes. He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing, garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs. He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only recorded history.


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Back to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown, Philadelphia, Pa

Back to the Penn Treaty Park

           It has been almost a full month since I completed the Trail of Hope. I am still having a difficult time adjusting. My mind keeps rewinding back to memories of walking and the Trail in general. Recently I worked on organizing all of the photographs I took along the way. It was wonderful revisiting the many different sites of the Trail.

            Since I have been back in Philadelphia, I’ve taken a few walks down to Penn Treaty Park. It was a great feeling to be able to walk on those grounds which helped build inspiration and origins for the Trail. It will always remain a very special park to me as well as generations of Fishtown residents who frequent the historic riverside area.

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Native American Portraits

Nothing is more intriguing to look at than another human being.
Each face is a puzzle of individuality, revealing as much as it hides.
Each body, regardless of haw it’s clothed, commands our attention with
its strength and its vulnerability.
Photography exploits our fascination by enabling us to scrutinize without restraint.

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With Love and Consent

  The principle of goodwill and friendship toward all men laid at the very root of William Penn beliefs.

Well before he left England, he was determined to treat Native Americans as brothers and win their confidence and friendship. It was his deep sense of humanity and conviction that Indians, no less than whites, were entitled to love and respect.   Here’s a letter dated October 18, 1681 William Penn sent to the Indians:

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Spiritual Warrior


Life offers us the opportunity to become a Spiritual Warrior. 
A warrior is one who bravely goes into those dark areas within 
themselves to ferret out the Truth of their being. 
It takes great courage, stamina and endurance to 
become a Spiritual Warrior.

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The Final Step

Yesterday I took the final steps of the Trail of Hope. I can’t believe it is finally finished! It has been long journey and I’m grateful that I was able to end it in such a special way.

The night before last, I spent the evening at the Delaware Indian Pow-Wow grounds about 17 miles from Bartlesville. I was joined by the Assistant Delaware Chief Chet Brooks and Michael Adair. We left the grounds at midnight so we would arrive around noon in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

By 7am a big thunderstorm came into the area and showered rain down throughout the remainder of our walk. It doesn’t seem ironic that the first steps of the Trail of Hope were taken in the middle of a light drizzle and later, a steady rain. In my first post of the Trail, I stated that I felt like the rain was blessing the Trail ahead, washing away any danger, and helping me to feel safe that everything would turn out all right. Alas, the final steps of the Trail were also made during a rainstorm, blessing everything behind me and the paths I will take in the future.

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Turn, … Turn, … Turn … !

 When you no longer go forward, … which path in life do you take ?

                                -         The one to the left, where nothing is right , or ….

                                -         The one to the right, where nothing is left ?


For nearly 70 years as a performer, Pete Seeger has embodied the ideals of folk music – communication, entertainment, social comment, historical continuity, inclusiveness.

 The songs he has written, and those he has discovered and shared, have helped preserve our cultural heritage, imprinting adults and children with the sounds, traditions and values of our global past and present.

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Crossing Into Kansas

Yesterday I crossed over into Kansas near Kansas City.  As I approached closer and closer to the city, the traffic on the road I was walking on picked up quite a bit. Kansas City reminds me of many other cities, big, crowded and full of traffic. I was surrounded by cars as I continued to press onward through the heat.

Today I am taking a nice rest. Over the next couple days, I’ll be in and around the Kansas City area. I will be going to Shawnee Mission, an area in Fairway, Kansas which served as a manual training school for children from the Shawnee, Delaware, and other Indian nations from 1839 until 1854.

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Shawnee Indian Mission

p>Shawnee Indians, along with many other eastern tribes, including Delaware, were moved to present-day Kansas in the 1820s and 1830s. Upon relinquishing their lands in the East, Shawnees received a large tract of land (about 1.6 million acres) west of Missouri in an area sometimes called the Great American Desert.

In July 1830 Chief Fish, leader of the Missouri Shawnees, requested a missionary through their Indian agent George Vashon. A missionary society was formed in September 1830. Reverend Thomas Johnson, a Methodist minister, was appointed missionary to the Shawnees and his brother William, missionary to the Kansa tribe.

 The Reverend Thomas Johnson was born in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and later moved to Missouri. He married Sarah Davis  at Clarksville, Missouri, in 1830, and that same year he arrived with his new bride in present-day Turner, Wyandotte County, Kansas.

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Visiting The Shawnee Indian Mission

Today I visited the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway, Kansas. When I woke up this morning I left my motel early and skipped breakfast since the closest place to eat was an hour and a half in the opposite direction from the Mission.

The historic site is comprised of three buildings. One is currently a private residence and two serve as exhibits. One of the buildings was closed when I arrived so I only had the opportunity to tour one building.  This building didn’t have that much information on Indian history.

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Delaware Kansas Reservation

Delaware Kansas Reservation

Grinter Place

Grinter Place is a house on the National Register of Historic Places above the Kansas River in the Muncie neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas.
The house was constructed by Moses Grinter where he and his half-Lenape (Delaware) wife lived until he died in 1878 and she in 1905. 
Grinter  wife’s Indian name was “Windagamen,” which meant “Sweetness.” 
She was one of a couple dozen Delaware women who became U.S. citizens when the territory became a state. 
  Near this place, the Delaware Crossing (or “Military Crossing”; sometimes “the Secondine’”) allowed passage from the old Indian trail where it met the waters of the Kaw River. 
Around 1831, Grinter, one of the earliest permanent white settlers in the area, set up the Grinter Ferry on the Kansas River here. His house, the Grinter Place, still stands at 1420 South 78th Street.

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Delaware Kansas Reservation

Delaware Kansas Reservation 

White Church

Both the White Church and White Church Cemetery were founded in 1831 by Rev. Thomas Johnson and his brother, Rev. William Johnson as part of a Methodist Mission to the Delaware Indians. This is the oldest church in Kansas City, Kansas.

This cemetery is the last resting place for many of the Delaware Indians that were served by the Mission as well as the pioneers involved in service to the Mission and the Delaware tribe.

That part of the country on the north side of the Kansas River was first settled by the Delawares in 1829. They came from Ohio, and brought with them a knowledge of agriculture, and many of them habits of industry. They opened farms, built houses and cut out roads along the ridges and divides, also erecting a frame church at what is now the village of White Church. The population of the Delaware tribe when it first settled in Kansas, was 1,000. It was afterward reduced to 800. This was in consequence of contact with the wilder tribes, who were as hostile to the short-haired Indians as they were to the whites. Still the Delawares would venture out hunting buffalo and beaver, to be inevitably overcome and destroyed.

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Visiting A Little Lenape History

Yesterday was a good day, despite the fact it was long and very hot. I went to the Annie and Moses Grinter House.  Annie was a Lenape Indian who married Moses Grinter. Their house, the oldest house in Wyandotte County,  is now run by the historical society. Inside the house was a magnificent man named Joe. He was a great person who gave me a wonderful tour of the house. He was very familiar with the Lenape history which I found to be quite refreshing.

The house contained several original artifacts which had been passed down through the family, including a beautiful quilt. I was really excited to see these artifacts and grateful to finally embrace a taste of visual Lenape history.

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Another Beautiful Hot Day

Yesterday it was another long and hot day. I was walking mostly along a country road which turned to gravel at certain times. This walk was like many of my walks where the temperature was so high and there was little shade around. There were no places to stop for water and I ran out of water in the middle of the day. It was kind of a dangerous situation given the heat.

I started to think about my time in Joplin when the temperature was always over 100 degrees. Now the weather remains in the 100s and will continue to be that way for the remainder of the Trail.

Since I have been subjected to fierce heat a lot, I am thinking about adjusting my walking pattern. Today I’m taking the day off and am planning on creating the final schedule for the last part of my walk to Oklahoma.

It is daunting knowing that I will face these conditions to the very end but I must have hope and carry on, keeping my spirit resilient and strong.

Haskell Indian Nations University

Haskell Indian Nations University – Lawrence, Ks

Haskell Indian Nations University is a unique and special place. Although it originally started as an assimilation school like other government-run Indian boarding schools, Haskell’s destiny was different than that of other schools. Haskell is the only government boarding school that has evolved into a four-year university for Native students. It is also the only inter-tribal college, accepting students from all federally recognized tribes.

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Lawrence, Kansas

Yesterday was supposed to be my day off to rest from the heat but I ended up exploring for a little bit. I was staying in Lawrence, Kansas and decided to walk around the area.

I happened to across the Haskell Indian Nations University. It was on the other side of town but it was interesting to see. The campus was made up of many buildings but all of the buildings were closed. No one was around for me to talk to or ask questions. I was a little disappointed but it was still nice to see the campus.

Afterwards I walked back to the side of town I was staying at. Lawrence has a lot of interesting history. The California and the Oregon Trail pass through the town. I wandered around a little more before returning to my hotel.

I started to make plans for the final stages of my walk. From here on out I will be walking south through Kansas to Oklahoma.


Our beliefs are essentially feelings of certainty we have about events or circumstances in our daily life. They are powerful and determine and control all of our choices and actions. 

Beliefs are shaped by facts, ideas, morals and even our personal experiences that we come to accept as absolute truths. Impressionable factors such as our parents, the media, and education will also shape our core beliefs.

Our beliefs are formed throughout time. Typically as we grow older we become less willing to adjust our beliefs.  These are the truths that have been molded through experience and it becomes hard to see things in a different, unfamiliar light.

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The Ups and Downs of Walking Through Missouri

Missouri’s landscape has changed completely from that of Illinois. Instead of the plain plains, I now encounter rolling hills and plenty of trees. The wonderful trees are extremely helpful on my walk so I can take breaks and hide from the sun. Back in Illinois, I felt as if I were walking on a hot frying pan for miles at a time.

The weather is very hard to predict. It can change dramatically in an instant. Just the other day, the sky was speckled with a few clouds until a huge gust of wind kicked up. Suddenly the sky became dark and lightening illuminated the sky. Fortunately I wasn’t far from a little creek so I hid under the bridge for about 20 minutes until the storm rolled on. Then that evening another storm came in, bringing power, fury, and hail along with it. I was grateful to have been safe in my hotel during that storm. As I walk I am always scanning the skies in an effort to learn the behavior of the clouds. This way, I can determine if I need to run for shelter or not.

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Nu na hi du na tlo hi lu I

Nu na hi du na tlo hi lu I
Trail of Where They Cried
“One by one Indian people were removed to the West. The Delaware, the Ottawa, Shawnee, Pawnee and Potawatomi, the Sauk and Fox, Miami and Kickapoo, the Choctaw, Chicksaw, Creek and Seminole. In some 90,000 Indians were relocated. The Cherokee were among the last to go. Almost two thousand of them died along the route westward which they remembered as the Trail of Tears.”

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Still Here, Still Going Strong

It has officially been three full months on the Trail of Hope. While it hasn’t been an easy Trail, it has most certainly been an unforgettable experience. It has been great meeting different people along the way. I am very grateful for everyone who supports me, especially those who send me notes or comment on the blog with well wishes. It is these little tokens of good wishes that renew my spirit and build up a positive energy within my heart.

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The Path

Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Life’s circumstances are not always what you might wish them to be.The pattern of life does not necessarily go as you plan.Beyond any understanding , you may at times be led in different directions that you never imagined , dreamed,or designed.Yet if you have never put any effort into choosing a path , or tried to carry out your dream , then perhaps you would have no direction at all.
Rather than wondering about or questioning the direction your life has taken , accept the fact that there is a path before you now.

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A Long Day of 30 Miles

Yesterday I started walking early in the morning. By 9am I was soaking wet from head to toe. It was as if I had jumped into a swimming pool with all of my clothes on. As expected, the weather was very hot and extremely humid. While I had many trees to hide under when I needed a break from the sun, the humidity was inescapable.

A small relief arrived when a large thunderstorm rumbled through the area for about 30 minutes. I was lucky to find shelter under some trees. The thunderstorms in this area are like no other. They are loud, powerful and there can be a lot of rumbling thunder and spectacular lightening before a drop of rain hits the ground. It was very interesting watching the sky light up and listening to the massive booms as the storm went on.

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Let Us Not Forgot The Ones Who Came Before Us

Yesterday I arrived in Arcadia, Missouri. It is a small town of about 600 or so inhabitants. Arcadia is one of three towns which are sort of clustered around one area. The second town is Ironton and to the north of that is Pilot Knob. While exploring these towns I happened to come upon this plaque which is dedicated to the pioneers who settled in the area many years ago.

 I found the plaque very interesting and it sparked my thoughts to consider the plight of people who came to this country 250 to 300 years ago. Many of these people were persecuted in Europe and had the hope that a better life lie across the ocean. These people had a lot of faith and perseverance. At times, we don’t really think or talk about the early pioneers that built a life for future generations. It is important to take a moment to remember their dedication and struggle.

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An Anniversary

Exactly 35 years a go, a young man from Poland accompanied by his friend, decided to move to the United States of America. The pair was looking for adventure in an unknown land. They wanted to explore the rich land of promise and opportunity and see first hand what life in America was like.

I was one of those young men. In 1976 I arrived in the United States on the brink of America’s bicentennial. As a youngster, I was excited to come to America but I didn’t know what to expect. Here I am, 35 years later on the Trail of Hope, paying tribute to the Lenni-Lenape Indians as I walk 2,000 miles through six states.

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Hot Days and Hungry Nights

It seems that I went from the heat in the plains to the heat and mountains of Missouri. Yesterday I walked through the seemingly untouched land. I saw a lot of deer and birds along the journey. Everything around me was green except for the road. There were not a lot of cars and absolutely no houses in sight.  It is just me, the road, and nature all around.

As the day started to come to a close, I managed to find lodging for the evening. In the middle of nowhere, I scored a great deal on a log cabin for the evening. Unfortunately there weren’t any places to get food nearby. After walking all day in the heat, I was very hungry.

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Your Dimension Of Greatness

No one can know the potential,
Of a life that is committed to win;
With courage – the challenge it faces,
To achieve great success in the end!

So, explore the Dimension of Greatness,
And believe that the world CAN be won;
By a mind that is fully committed,
KNOWING the task can be done!

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A Great Feast

Yesterday I woke up in my cabin and looked outside. There, with the mountains and the river, was a thick yet beautiful fog surrounding the area. It was quite a scene. I had my cup of water outside the cabin so I could enjoy the view for a bit. I started my day at around 5am in an attempt to walk as much as possible without the heavy heat. I have to make more frequent stops along the way due to the heat, so my days are getting longer and longer. I start early and end late.

As I walked along the woods throughout most of the way, I noticed I was getting bitten by a variety of insects. Also, I find I have to remove a few ticks from my body each night before I go to bed. This is just another element of nature!

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Act of Creation

Throughout the past few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about peace. While many of us have somewhat of a perceived understanding as to what peace is, very few people understand what peace means. I believe peace is not shared enough in society today. Peace needs to be created everyday in order to maintain it throughout humanity.

The day after I arrived in Indianapolis, there was a peace rally being held downtown. I read in the newspaper that the rally took place in the city and shockingly, only 50 people attended. I was surprised that in such a large city there was so little a response to an honest effort.

Peace has to be created within ourselves to be maintained in our neighborhoods and beyond. We have to take the steps and follow through with action. It is not enough to talk about peace or idealistic values. It is interesting that many people I meet along the way are not interested in spreading peace, even in the simplest of ways.  

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Yesterday as I was walking in a pretty rural area, I met a guy along the way and we struck up a conversation. I began talking about what I always do, the Trail and its purpose. The man was very interested and seemed excited about it. We were standing off of the main road on a dirt road which led to a commercial kind of area.

While we were talking a man pulled up the dirt road in a truck hauling a small trailer and stopped right next to us. We said hello and could tell right away he was not in a great mood. I began talking to him, sharing a little about the Trail when he cuts me off and says, “What good is it going to do?” As I stood there, shocked and trying to think of an answer, he said “didn’t you see me trying to change my tire over there?” He pointed behind us down the dirt road. We told him that we were sorry but we didn’t see him. This was the truth because his truck was a ways back on the dirt road and our backs were to it while we were talking.

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