Kevin Redsky, left, has been walking from Winnipeg to Vancouver for 73 days, asking police to join him in his journey for indigenous mental health. His wife, Harmony, and Indigenous police escort, RCMP Cpl. Anthony Cameron, right, were with him neared Grand Forks Friday, Sept. 25. (Laurie Tritschler - Grand Forks Gazette)

Indigenous man walks to Grand Forks in cross-country journey for youth mental health

Kevin Redsky has been walking from Winnipeg, Man. for more than 70 days.

A retired Ojibwae police officer walked from Christina Lake to Grand Forks Friday, Sept. 25, raising awareness and donations for young indigenous Canadians struggling with mental health.

Kevin Redsky started his Hope in the Darkness walk two years ago when he and his wife, Harmony, set off from the coast of Newfoundland to strengthen ties between indigenous youth police serving in their communities.

The couple were on their way to a Grand Forks hotel when this reporter caught up with them and their indigenous police escort, RCMP Cpl. Anthony Cameron, near the Kettle River Bridge Friday afternoon.

“Youth needed a platform and a message of hope and empowerment, so what I did was challenge police officers across the country to step up for our youth–to show them that we genuinely care about their mental well-being,” explained Redsky.

READ MORE: First Nations people in BC four times more likely to die of an overdose

READ MORE: Zero-tolerance: Top Indigenous leader calls for systemic change for policing

“Developing those relationships is so vital right now with the media right now, with Black Lives Matter in the United States and our own issues in Canada with indigenous communities and their interactions with the police.”

It was rainy and generally miserable as he got in to Christina Lake, and Redseky said locals had been honking their support as he walked along Highway 3.

The Redsky’s have been on the road since they started the second leg of Kevin’s cross-country trek 73 days ago.

The couple hopes to reach Vancouver, where they will be joined by community leaders and indigenous elders, in roughly two weeks.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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