Indigenous man marching to Fort McMurray stops in Saskatoon
Stanley Barkman is making a 2,080 kilometre walk from Ontario to Fort McMurray
One man's 2,000 kilometre walk from Ontario to Fort McMurray made a brief stop in Saskatoon.
On Thursday evening 26-year-old Stanley Barkman, who started his journey from Sioux Lookout, Ont., is making his way through Saskatchewan and stopped in for a break and a meal at the Evangelical Free Church in Saskatoon.
Barkman had the chance to meet some fans who have been following his trek across the prairies and he also had a chance to put his feet up after a month of walking, raising money for the fire evacuees of Fort McMurray, Alta.
"People are losing their home, their city and one day I just wanted to try and do something so I went to my dad and asked him if there's anything we can try to do and he came up with this walk," Barkman told CBC News. "I've never been to Fort McMurray, I don't know anyone there I just saw on the news that 80 per cent of the city was up in flames and I thought I would try and do something."
Crossing Saskatchewan has been an experience for Barkman who commented the walk has been a little easier just because of the layout of the prairies.
"It's flat, very flat," he said.
But it sure didn't start out this easy. Barkman said the first few days every muscle below his waist was sore, but after about day four, he's been cruising.
Fort McMurray fire evacuee joins in
As Barkman made his way through Manitoba, he was met by Nathan Walmsley, an evacuee from Fort McMurray who was in Winnipeg for a Taekwondo competition.
After capturing a gold medal in board-breaking, Walmsley heard about Barkman's journey and decided to join him.
So now three men, followed closely by Barkman's father are on the homestretch to Fort McMurray.
As the trio make their way on Friday morning, the Saskatoon Fire Department will drive beside the walkers, escorting them out of the city as a sign of respect and admiration.
Those looking to support Barkman on his walk are encouraged to join his Facebook page Walking for Fort McMurray, which already has more than 22,000 members. Barkman has also set up a GoFundMe page, but he doesn't want to know how much he's raised until he reaches his destination.
"I hope no one spoils it for me."