Runners Protocols


Peace and Dignity Journeys fosters an environment of prayer, self-respect, learning, and physical and spiritual growth.

1) As a runner you hold the responsibility of caring for the prayer staffs:
If you pick up a staff it is your responsibility for the entire day and you need to return the staff to the bundle at the end of the day during closing circle.
Do not carry or hold a staff while on your moon, but you can run with sage or support the run by driving, etc. Please talk to the coordinators for more info on moontime protocols.
Hold staffs upright. Do not place staffs on the ground or hold them upside down.
If you are going to eat or go to the bathroom ask another runner to hold the staff for you. Do not leave the staff unattended.
The staffs carry prayers and energies, therefore, please treat the staff as if you are carrying your own relative.
No selfies while holding a staff and don’t be distracted on your phone while holding the staff. Wait until you put down your staff before taking pictures to document the run.
Please refrain from kissing or other public displays of romantic affection while holding a staff.
The staff should not be used as a weapon.
If you are ever unsure about how to care for the staff, please ask a coordinator.
Indigenous peoples have different traditions regarding prayer staffs so it is important to be mindful of the different protocols for each community that will be addressed in circle each morning.

2) In case of emergencies or conflicts, alert the coordinators immediately and defer to their experience and leadership in resolving the situation.

2) Respect and honor each other and treat each other in a respectful and consistent manner worthy of creating trust. This includes being mindful of our tone, language, and how we engage in disagreements or differences of opinion. Remember that this run is a prayer and a ceremony.  While on the run, please remember that our actions impact others and the continental prayer. Please use your words as medicine.

3) Abstain from drugs, alcohol, and sex for a period of three to four days before and after the run. No drugs, alcohol, or sexual activity is permitted on the run.

4) While on the run you can wear traditional regalia specific to your heritage, traditions, and nation. In addition, we ask that runners who are not in tribal/traditional regalia dress modestly and prepare for the weather conditions we will encounter. Runners who are not wearing tribal/traditional regalia can choose which of these two additional protocols fits them best. We encourage you to respect each runner's attire choices.

Additional Protocols #1:
• Wear a shirt covering your chest, stomach, and shoulders
• Wear a skirt to at least to your knees, or longer.

Additional Protocols #2:
• Wear a shirt covering your chest, stomach, and shoulders
• Wear loose fitting shorts to your knees.

5) You should expect very hot temperatures and dry conditions. If you are running during the day: bring sunblock and a hat or sun glasses with a strap if needed. Please remain hydrated and monitor your body’s condition before, during and after the run. Bring all medications and alert the coordinators of any pre-existing health conditions you may have. Make sure that you are in strong enough health to run long distances. The run is not responsible for injuries incurred by runners.

6) Please check in with the coordinators before taking photographs, voice recordings, or video. Some Indigenous practices cannot be photographed and some individuals may wish to not be recorded. Respect those moments by pausing your recording and photo taking during moments when recording is prohibited. Please share any photos, recordings, or videos you take of the run and related activities with the coordinators.

7) When we place markers, please do not go past your designated marker as we don’t run over each others’ prayers. This also ensures the van can pick you up quickly and the run can stay on pace.

8) Peace and Dignity Journeys is a community prayer run. It’s not a race. Like many traditional teachings, we move as fast as our slowest runner so as to keep the people united. Please be mindful of your pace.

Download a pdf version of these protocols for printing or distribution