Sunshine and snowshoes: stories from Celia Walker’s epic fundraising hike
This is a guest post from Celia Walker, who has spent the past 3 days hiking the Sunshine Coast trail to raise funds for Pull Together. Follow her on Instagram @celiarwalker, and donate to her fundraiser at https://fundraise.raventrust.com/fundraiser/1167929
Before the Journey
TOMORROW I will be setting out on a solo 90km trek on the Sunshine Coast Trail to raise funds to support First Nations legal challenges against the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I have reached my fundraising goal by 30% but still have a ways to go! But Celia! Where does the money go and what good does it do exactly? WELL my friend, good question – Did you know that First Nations have some of the most powerful constitutional rights in the world? The strategy of making a legal case against the construction of pipelines on the grounds that the decision infringes on their aboriginal title and rights and that Canada breached its duty to consent before approval, has proven to be effective in time and time again… HOWEVER taking the government and big oil to court is expensive $$$. By standing with First Nations through donation, we are supporting those who have the best chance at killing this pipeline in the fight to transition away from fossil fuels, true reconciliation, and the protection of our climate. Follow me on this crazy, three day journey via instagram story @celiarwalkerand let’s #pulltogether funds at a time when it matters the most!!
Day 1 : Perspective
Perspective Day 1: more than just consumers & my invested interest-I grew up w/ nature. I would make jam from the wild berries around my grans house, friends with the deer that would frequent our hikes,& forts out of fallen trees in the forest. I would play catch with the snakes in the Cape Breton bogs, climb trees so high until the branches would bend,& chase crabs on the East Coast shores. I know what mud pies taste like after being baked in the grass under the sun, how it feels to swim in the river summer spring fall and winter,& how it smells in the mountains after it rains. I am also from Alberta..My parents success is indirectly but in part because of its oil driven economy. I have traveled so much of the world on fossil fuel intensive planes, don’t always buy second hand clothes, upgrade my phone every couple of years,& eat fish because I love it. The privilege I feel as a result is overwhelming and the guilt intense when I put my consumeristic behaviours under the spot light and realize I am inextricably linked to this problematic culture of extraction, greed, and excess that is so threatening to our planet. It hurts me to think about the vulnerable people that are currently being directly affected,& it hurts me to imagine old Celia telling her children and theirs stories of me swimming in fresh water, catching snakes & building forts in the woods and have them respond to me with disbelief when they look upon their own reality. But when I connect back to nature, this fear and poignant sense of guilt transforms into a powerful surge of responsibility to go beyond just doing my best as a conscientious consumer.. to do more. So! For now I walk. I walk to support First Nations legal battles agains KM. I walk on behalf of those who are unable and unlikely to change their own behaviours. I walk because I have too great of a privilege to sit still and be silent. We are not only consumers in society where we have the illusion of choice to buy or not buy, we are individuals who have the power to band together to be a part of a collective movement to protect our natural environment & shared future. I want to do more. #walkerthewalk #peaksnotpipelines#pulltogether
Crossing the Finish Line
“So I did it-
“did what, Celia?”
… Well other than spend 3 days and 2 nights in the wilderness by myself, face a blizzard or two, take a few tumbles, & acquire a couple sneaky little blisters… I hiked a longggg distance on the Sunshine Coast Trail to raise funds for @raven_trust and their #PullTogether campaign that is fundraising to support the First Nations who are front lining legal battles to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
The only thing..in true Celia fashion of course, it did not go quite as expected…When I arrived at around the 30k mark the first day (albeit, completely spent, did you know 30K is a FRIG load to do in a day with great elevation gain and a big ol pack?!), I was greeted with a big “DO NOT ENTER:BLASTING AHEAD”sign. A whole section of the trail had been closed off making my original 90K plan unfeasible. At first my ego took a hit at the reality of having to turn around… “but this was my goal! I am ready & capable and came all this way!”.
But after spending the night in this little log loft, waking up to the sun break through the clouds, the blizzard past, the lake as calm as glass and the trees so elegantly painted with snow..my pride fell aside and my ego was forgotten on the trail.
The distance wasn’t the point. The point was to spend time in nature alone, raise funds along the way, challenge my body and my mind for a local cause I care deeply about and think about what Pull Together represents to me.
So instead of spending 90k hustling my bum up and down the trails, I hiked 60ishK, slowed myself down, and had time for some introspection. AND I wrote most of it down. Over the next 3 days, I hope to share with you all 3 different perspectives (all Celia Walker perspectives because that is all I can speak to genuinely) for the 3 days I was on the trail as to why supporting indigenous peoples in their fight for climate & social justice, decolonisation, and respect is our deeply rooted responsibility.
Celia has raised over $600 for First Nations legal challenges. Donate to her page, and share her amazing story! https://fundraise.raventrust.com/fundraiser/1167929