Unlike the Western train, the stops on the Ocean are rarely more than an hour apart. About 45 minutes after departing Halifax I was hopping out of the open door to meet our awesome supporters in Truro, NS. Unfortunately in the 3 minute stop I only had time to see the tail end of the great event they held. I did hear the last bars of a song written by KAIROS’ friend Doris McCallum and played by the local minister on his Saxophone! Another whole bag of banners got on the train in Truro and so did my two other traveling companions, Doris and Joanna. The five of us formed, in my opinion, the most fun group on the train. Doris and Joanna’s amazing knowledge and support for this cause were infectious and before too long the group of American tourists in the lounge car had become full supporters for Canada’s implementation of UNDRIP!
In another 45 minutes we hit Sackville, NB, my home town. I had to ask the train staff to stop for me as they were about to roll right through the station. (I’ll take this chance for a HUGE hats off for the VIA Rail staff on this train. They were more than accommodating and did all they could to help us get banners quickly while taking time to discuss this event. I had ridden with some of them before on my trips from Toronto to Sackville, and hope I have another chance this summer!) For a small university town in the middle of summer and on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I expected two or three people on the platform of our little station. There were 20. I wish I could have spent more time, but in the three minutes I was allowed to be off the train I got in two hugs, a couple of photos, one banner, and most of a prayer. This little event really brought home to me how many people were touched and inspired by the Roll with the Declaration Campaign. The support for Indigenous rights in Canada truly is nation-wide.
The final event for this train was in Moncton. Three events in three hours! Another group of about twenty people waiting in the station with a whole duffel bag of banners. After this event we were on the way to Montreal with no more banner pick-ups until the following morning. The ride and company were incredible and In the course of the 12 hours that followed we had great opportunities for relaxing, getting to know each other, and truly reflecting on the reasons for our trip.