First Nations man walks 2,000 km for Fort McMurray

By Greg Higgins
June 6, 2016 - 9:00am

Many people wouldn’t consider driving 2,000 km, let alone walk it. But Stanley Barkman, an Ontario man from Sachigo Lake First Nation saw the devastation in Fort McMurray and decided to do something about it.

“I saw the fire on TV and I went to my dad’s office to see what we could do,” Barkman said. “We decided to do a walk. I just wanted to help out in any way I could. I’m not doing this just for our people, I want to help out my fellow Canadians.”

Barkman reached North Battleford this past weekend. The walk started in Sioux Lookout, ON., 425 km south of Sachigo Lake First Nation. Sachigo is a community which can only be reached by ice road during the winter, and by air during the remainder of the year. Barkman flew to Sioux Lookout to start his trek.

Barkman’s walk began on May 9, with brother David joining him shortly after. The pair walk eight hours a day and say the journey has taken its toll.

“I’ve had good and bad days. There have been times where I’ve felt like giving up,” Barkman said. “I was really close between Regina and Saskatoon but I kept telling myself I’ve come this far and I can’t disappoint all the people who are expecting me to get to Fort Mac.”

The walk took the pair down the Trans-Canada Hwy. through Manitoba to Regina. They then took Hwy. 11 to Saskatoon, then Hwy. 16 to North Battleford. Their next major stop will be in Lloydminster.

He plans on arriving in Fort McMurray on June 20.

 

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