Fort Robinson Outbreak Spiritual Run
Every January, Conscious Alliance sponsors the Fort Robinson Outbreak Spiritual Run, a 400-mile journey from Fort Robinson, Nebraska to Busby, Montana. Coordinated by Phillip Whiteman Jr. and Lynette Two Bulls (yellowbirdinc.org) from their home in Lame Deer, Montana, the run was created to pay homage to Northern Cheyenne ancestors who broke out of Fort Robinson on January 9, 1879. Most of them were killed at this time, but a few survived and made it to their homeland, the Powder River country in Southeastern Montana. Because of this sacrifice, they now have the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
The runners include 100 Northern Cheyenne youth from the reservation who range in age from 7 to young adults. Many of the participants are considered “at risk” youth and come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The runners make a commitment to undertake a five-day journey across 400 miles that commemorates their ancestry by replicating their epic journey from Nebraska to their homeland in Montana. They run day and night enduring January temperatures and physical hardships, much like their ancestors of 130 years ago. They learn valuable lessons of unity, responsibility to self and others, and how to overcome adversities. They encourage one another through winter weather, the sand-hills of Nebraska, the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, and the plains and mountains of Montana. They gain a strong connection to the sacrifice of their ancestors. The run instills in them a sense of pride, greater self-esteem, a deeper respect for their identity and sincere appreciation for their homeland.