Nova Scotia

Caribou Legs, Indigenous ultra-marathoner, gets warm welcome in Nova Scotia

His 7,400-kilometre run began on Mother's Day in British Columbia, and he still has one thousand kilometres to go.

7,400-kilometre run began on Mother's Day in British Columbia

Gwich'in ultra-marathoner Brad Firth, better known as Caribou Legs, during a stop in Nova Scotia. (CBC)

His name is Brad Firth, but he goes by "Caribou Legs."

He's a thousand kilometres away from finishing his cross-Canada run to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and children. His 7,400-kilometre run began on Mother's Day in British Columbia and will wrap up in Newfoundland next month.

Nova Scotia RCMP officer offers to take cross-country runner out for coffee at Tim Hortons

5 years ago
Caribou Legs is running across Canada to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women. In Nova Scotia, he got a special, very warm reception from the RCMP. 1:27

There is no entourage or support vehicle on this marathon, and he carries everything he needs in his knapsack. So far, he's gone through 13 pairs of sneakers.

Running in memory of his sister

Caribou Legs has covered 7,400 kilometres. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

He was motivated to do the run after his sister Irene died. He wanted to run in her honour, and for the missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Caribou Legs is an ultra-marathoner, so running 75 kilometres a day is hard but not out of his scope. The Gwich'in runner wears full war paint, a buffalo bone warrior breastplate and an eagle feather in his braided hair.

"It gives me a lot of strength," he said. "It gives me a way to give this message, a way to carry the message."

Caribou Legs performs a smudge ceremony. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

He has been stopped while running through western Canada by the RCMP. He said he has $500 in outstanding fines after motorists were alarmed by his roadside running.

In one case, he said a motorist thought his eagle feather was a gun and he was put in handcuffs.

Warm reception in Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, he has received a warmer reception. One RCMP officer stopped him to say "way to go" and then drove him to Tim Hortons to get a coffee. The RCMP are hosting him Friday morning at their Dartmouth headquarters as well.

Caribou Legs speaks to schools and universities along his route, and he is speaking at Halifax's Mi'kmaw Friendship Centre on Friday. 

He hopes to raise awareness and keep alive the memory of his sister, and the missing and murdered Indigenous women. And to show men how to be a peaceful warrior.


World champion curler Colleen Jones has been reporting with CBC News for nearly three decades. Follow her on Twitter @cbccolleenjones.