I’m feeling kind of helpless today as I see the various Facebook updates from the Water Walkers. They’ve been humbly calling for assistance as they make their way from the Pacific Ocean, ascending through the Rocky Mountains, en route to Anishinaabeg territory in the Great Lakes.
The least I can do is send them some much needed money and write them a blog post of support.
For those of you who don’t know, the Mother Earth Water Walk has begun a journey from each of the four directions, raising awareness of the state of water and the need to protect and speak up for the most precious natural resource on the planet. Led by Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, the walk began its first and longest leg, from the Pacific Ocean, culminating in early June at Lake Superior. The Mother Earth Water Walk began in 2003 with a 36-day walk around Lake Superior. Since then, almost every spring, the water walkers have walked around each of the Great Lakes and down the entire length of the St. Lawrence River.
Unfortunately, the environment is not being seen as a priority issue in this election campaign. But for Anishinaabe people, nothing can be more important. People of all nations, backgrounds, and political stripes need to be aware of the state of the water and the environment. We all need to make positive decisions with respect to the health of our environment and fresh water sources. Unsustainable development and recklessness cannot continue without appropriate consideration of these factors.
Government needs to play a central role in holding industry and consumers accountable. Officials ought to work with First Nations and factor in our tremendous traditional knowledge when making decisions that affect water.
The Liberal Party of Canada has committed to an innovative Canadian Freshwater Strategy that will do just that. It will be the first national strategy on water in the past 20 years. The goal of the strategy is to preserve Canada’s freshwater for the generations to come.
That’s why Josephine and these women are doing this walk. With the support of men, Anishinaabe-kwe have committed to walking across Turtle Island (North America), carrying a copper pail full of water. The water from each leg of the walk, the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Hudson’s Bay and Gulf of Mexico will be intermingled together with the Great Lakes water when they reach their final destination.
In our culture, the water is considered our life-blood. It not only flows through our bodies and provides us nourishment, it is said to flow directly from the Spirit World in a beautiful river that flows forever. As Anishinaabe people, we should do everything we can to honour this deep spiritual connection.
We may not be able to join our Grandmother Josephine and the other Midewiwin women on the walk. But we can be a part of the broader message, send our prayers, donations and support as they climb through the difficult mountain passes in Washington state.
SUPPORT THE MOTHER EARTH WATER WALK
E-mail Money Transfers (Can & U.S.): email@example.com
Cheques may be made out to: Mother Earth Water Walk and mailed to:
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig
Attn: Joanne Robertson, WW Coordinator
1550 Queen Street E
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Direct Deposit: Northern Credit Union
Acct#: 14492 828 0161405641
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- Mother Earth Water Walk official website.
- Follow the Mother Earth Water Walk on Facebook.
- Track the progress of the Mother Earth Water Walk.