Letter: The Wiky Road Race has a proud history of inclusion

The Island strives to keep the promise of understanding and respect alive

To the Expositor:

I find it difficult and hard to not comment on this 48th yearly event that welcomes people from everywhere to participate in this important event that encourages healthy living, co-operation, respect, inclusivity and community ethics. I remember those first days of the Wiky Road Race. Those road races were an anticipated yearly event now stretching over 48 years, such as Haweater Weekend, Pearson Cup, powwow. I always thought they should name it the Wiikwemkoong/Larry LeBlanc/Henry Hoy/Sarah Peltier Road Race. Born out of that Wiky Road Race, there is huge history to that race where a parchment (still displayed publically) was relayed, on foot by the Wikwemikong (at the time) road runners around the Island where all community leaders signed personally on behalf of their people, to encourage and a promise to co-operate among ourselves and practice understanding and respect. Those who remember that journey relaying the peace and understanding document, taken by our First Nations, was led by Don Fisher of Wikwemikong. As well, another event that lives on as a result of the Wiky Road Race was one started by Jeff Eshkawkogan, the Moccasin Burner Race. This Wiky race boasts a winner who hailed from Czechoslovakia. 

We on the Island communities, in partnership with First Nations, have still worked and strived to keep those promises locally and set an example to the Canadian government that while (Truth and Reconciliation) is not honoured by the government, is honoured here on the Manitoulin. Too bad the government doesn’t do the same with the Truth and Reconciliation agreement, they so often refer to but do not honor. I suggest and hold this race as important as any Canadian happening and earned its way into Island culture and history as any Canadian events. Thanks to Larry LeBlanc, Sarah Peltier and Henry Hoy. 

As a closing, Manitoulin’s own Manitoulin Expositor provided the first winner trophy for this race.

Larry Killens

South Baymouth