SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A 13-day run from Bears Ears National Monument came to an end Monday night at the Utah State Capitol as a Diné indigenous woman completed 330 miles to bring awareness to issues close to her heart.
Davina Smith, the Executive Director of the SLC Air Protectors wanted the United Nations and the rest of Utah to know something must be done about how we treat Mother Earth.
Her approach was step-by-step. Each time Smith’s foot reached the ground, she knew she was doing something important.
“There were moments where I was so tired, but it was Mother Earth telling me to stay on the path, stay on the path because I’m hurting,” she told a crowd of more than 200 who welcomed her to the State Capitol.
“We all share this land, and we should also look at it as a form of how do we take care of it,” said Smith.
Originally from Monument Valley, Smith ran bringing awareness to issues such as Bears Ears National Monument, Utah Inland Port, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
She added, “I really wanted the United Nations to come and be apart of a different group of indigenous perspective.”
During the journey, Smith carried a medicine bag passed down through the generations within her family. Inside of it was herbs meant to heal the state.
“This medicine isn’t for me, it’s for everyone, and when I’m done I will actually be returning it to Bears Ears. It is not for me to keep,” said Smith.
Now that she has completed the 330-mile run, Smith said she is going to take action on many things starting with air quality issues in Utah.