Native American sobriety walk brings community together

Native American Walk for Sobriety returns to Richmond July 15
A scene from last year's Native American Walk for Sobriety event in Richmond.

Multiple community groups were represented at Saturday’s second annual Native American Walk For Sobriety in Richmond — part of a city-wide call to recognize the dangers of alcoholism and to support those in recovery.

About 50 Sobriety Walkers met at the intersection of San Pablo and MacDonald Avenues with flags and placards. Some passersby parked their cars or walked their bikes to join in the walk.

When walkers reached Nichol Park, they were met with food, drink and refreshments courtesy of the Sikh Gurdwara Sahib (temple), which has participated in both Richmond sobriety walks to date.

While alcoholism has been a big issue in the Native American community, it is also a big issue in Richmond, where liquor stores flourish. That’s why so many varied groups in the Richmond community have supported the sobriety walks, organizers said.

Other participating community leaders included Vinay Pimple, a Richmond councilmember, Cesar Zepeda, president of the Hilltop District Homeowners & Stakeholders Association, and  Charlene Harris, founder of Richmond-based Healing Circles of Hope.


Connie Reitman, executive director of Inter-Tribal Council of California, spoke to walkers about issues surrounding Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and the inter-generational use of alcohol by Native Americans to cope with Indian Country’s Historic Trauma.

Following several talks by community leaders at Nicholl Park on Saturday, walkers continued on to the Native American Wellness Center at 2566 Macdonald Ave., where they were treated to an open house and BBQ.

Story, photos and video footage reported by Mike “Racoon Eyes” Kinney.