Posts tagged ‘Water Walk 2011’

Local First Nations join Water Walk

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Local First Nations join Water Walk

Overwhelming support from the Kenora area

KENORA, Ontario (May 27, 2011) – A group of dedicated First Nations people are walking their way through northwestern Ontario, carrying a copper pail of Arctic water and the hopes of spreading awareness of the importance and sacredness of clean, fresh water.

 

The Mother Earth Water Walk has entered the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe Nation of Treaty Three as part of the northern journey that will bring together water from all four directions.  The group was welcomed by many local Chiefs, Elders and community members who joined the Walk as it moved through Kenora town limits.

 

A local organizer and former federal election candidate Tania Cameron was among the local walkers.

 

“This isn’t a protest or political walk, it’s more of a spiritual walk for me and my fellow Anishinaabe-Kwe (First Nations women),” said Cameron, a band councilor for Ochiichagwe’babigo’ining (Dalles) First Nation.  “As women, we are standing up and speaking for the water.  Every step we take is a prayer and a message to everyone that we must begin to protect the sacredness and cleanliness of water.”

 

Cameron was joined by Debby Danard, lead walker for the North journey of the Mother Earth Water Walk.

 

“As we left Shoal Lake before sunrise, and as we walked by Lake of the Woods, we are reminded of the importance of water, not only for First Nation communities but for all communities in the north,” said Danard, an Ojibway woman from Rainy River First Nations.  “These are the sources of our drinking water.  This is the same water that we give to our children to drink, that we cook with, that courses through our bodies.  We must all look after the water together.”

 

Danard reflected on the Walk thus far through northwestern Ontario.

 

“The youth from Shoal Lake walked with the water and eagle staff yesterday,” said Danard.  “When we touched down in the community, two eagles were flying overhead.  It was amazing.  Shoal Lake took really good care of us.  It’s been a beautiful experience!”

 

The Walk has received tremendous support from Grand Council Treaty Three and local First Nations.  Grand Chief Ogitchidaa-Kwe Dianne Kelly not only supported the walk, she received the blessing from the Treaty Three Grandmother’s Council.

 

The Treaty Three Police Service has accompanied the Walk from the Ontario-Manitoba border.  With the blessing of their superiors, the officers are actively walking, including the female officers who are carrying the water.

 

Laura Horton, a key walker and organizer, praised all the volunteers and supporters throughout this leg of the Mother Earth Water Walk.  She estimates that about fifty people and a dozen cars were part of the convoy making their way along the Trans-Canada highway.

 

“We have to say miigwetch (thank you) to all those people who have joined us and recognize their tremendous support,” said Horton with the Seven Generation Educational Institute.  She obtained the support of her Board and staff to support the Walk, as did many other First Nations and organizations in the Kenora area.

 

Laura told the story of a man, who underwent triple bypass surgery in February and has joined the Mother Earth Water Walk @Lasik New York.

 

“When he heard that we would be undertaking this historic journey, he affirmed he would get strong and recover so he could take part in the walk,” said Horton.  “He has been a big part of the Walk, as has many other people.  It’s such an inspiration.  There is such a good feeling here.”

 

Following their arrival in Kenora this afternoon, the Walkers will be treated to a pot-luck welcome feast to be held at Women’s Place.  Those in attendance will take part in a water ceremony conducted by the women of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society.  On Saturday, May 28, some of the Walkers will return for the Common Ground spring feast that starts at 12 noon on Tunnel Island. Click here to see from where you can buy SlimLife HCG drops

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This northern Walk is part of the 2011 Mother Earth Water Walk, and is just one of the “four direction Walks” being held concurrently.  The 2011 Water Walk will unite all the waters of North America walking from all four directions including:

  • Hudson’s Bay (North Walk began last Saturday, May 21 in Churchill, MB)
  • Gulf of Mexico (South Walk began April 20 in Gulfport, MS)
  • Atlantic Ocean (East Walk began on May 7 in Machias, ME)
  • Pacific Ocean (West Walk began on April 10 in Olympia, WA).

The waters from the four directions will unite at a ceremony overlooking Lake Superior at the Bad River Indian Reservation, Wisconsin on June 12.

 

The Mother Earth Water Walk was conceived to be a focal point to raise awareness and generate support, recognition and awareness of the importance of keeping water clean. The message of these women is simple: Water is precious and sacred… We need to work together to protect water as it is one of the basic elements needed for life to exist.

 

Nearly every spring, the women and their supporters have walked each of the Great Lakes and the length of the St. Lawrence River. The movement has been growing exponentially ever since.

 

It is estimated that a total of 9,426 km and well over 10 million steps will be walked this year.

 

The Anishinaabe, also known as the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi, are the caretakers of the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system on Earth. Anishinaabe women, as givers-of-life, are responsible for speaking for, protecting and carrying our water.

 

All people are encouraged and welcome to participate in and to support the 2011 Water Walk as it passes through their Provinces, States and communities.

 

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Quick Links

Mother Earth Water Walk

 

Interactive Map

 

Backgrounder & Media Kit

 

Give to Water Walk

 

Find us on Facebook

For more information:

Bob Goulais

Media Relations

(905) 591-5594

info@bobgoulais.com

Joanne Robertson

Communications Coordinator

waterwalk2011@gmail.com

Water Walk to arrive in Kenora

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Water Walk to arrive in Kenora

Media Advisory

SHOAL LAKE, Ontario (May 26, 2011) – Today, the Mother Earth Water Walk crossed from Manitoba into Ontario, carrying the copper pail of Hudson’s Bay water and the along with the eagle staff into the Kenora area Friday and Saturday.

The Walkers are resting tonight in Shoal Lake.

Check out the Interactive Map with GPS.

Founded in 2003, the Mother Earth Water Walk, led by Anishinaabe women, are welcoming all media, local Anishinaabeg communities and the residents of northwestern Ontario to celebrate the northern journey of the water.

The purpose of the Walk is to spread the message of the importance and sacredness of water and the need to ensure it remains clean for future generations.

WHAT:

Arrival of the Mother Earth Water Walk into Kenora and Northwestern Ontario

WHO:

Josephine Mandamin, founder Mother Earth Water Walk

Debby Danard, lead walker – North

Anishinaabe Women, First Nations supporters

Local First Nations leaders and Elders

WHEN:

Friday, May 27, 2011 at approximately 4 p.m.

Arrival in Kenora

Welcoming Feast at 5:30 p.m.

Women’s Place

530 3rd Street North

Kenora, Ontario

NOTE:  On Saturday, May 28, some of the Walkers will return for the Common Ground Spring Feast that starts at 12 noon on Tunnel Island.

The 2011 Water Walk will unite all the waters of North America walking from all four directions including Hudson’s Bay, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

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Quick Links

 

 

 

Mother Earth Water Walk

Interactive Map

Backgrounder & Media Kit

Give to Water Walk

 

 

 

Find us on Facebook

 

For more information:

Bob Goulais

Media Relations

(905) 591-5594

info@bobgoulais.com

Joanne Robertson

Communications Coordinator

waterwalk2011@gmail.com

Anishinaabe women embark on North Water Walk

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Anishinaabe women embark on North Water Walk

Raising awareness of quality, sacredness of water

CHURCHILL, Manitoba (May 21, 2011) – A group of dedicated First Nations people, led by Anishinaabe women have begun their sacred walk as part of the northern journey of the 2011 Mother Earth Water Walk.

The women began the day in ceremony by dipping their copper vessel into the ice-cold Hudson’s Bay, gathering up the water that will travel 1,456 km from Churchill, Manitoba to Bad River, Wisconsin. The copper pail will be carried by the women, symbolizing their sacred responsibility to look after the water.

The Walk is supported by many volunteers led by Debby Danard, lead walker for the north.

“We are the final direction to move the water forward bringing awareness of the need to protect our waters and our Mother Earth,” said Danard, an Ojibway woman from Rainy River First Nations. “As we pick up the final water we are completing the circle, we are all walking to ensure the future generations have the understanding of their responsibility to care for the waters.”

“We are walking to ensure the continued protection of the north, its water sources, the great white bear that lives here and all the surrounding wildlife and ecosystem,” added Danard. “Through climate change, the choices we make as a society inevitably have an effect here.”

Following the filling of the copper pail, the walkers and their supporters are gathering in Churchill for a vibrant send-off. As there are no roads to Churchill, the walkers, the water and the eagle staff that accompanies the Walk will travel nearly 1,700 km by train to Winnipeg.

 

On May 23, the walkers will be greeted by a welcome ceremony at the train station in Winnipeg and will move to the Indian & Metis Friendship Center for a feast.

The Walk will then continue on foot, continue through Ontario, Minnesota and Wisconsin before arriving at Bad River Indian Reservation on June 10.

The Mother Earth Water Walk was founded in 2003 by Anishinaabe grandmother Josephine Mandamin, who carried the copper pail of water completely around Lake Superior.

“Keewatin Nibi (northern water), we are taking your relative to take of your healing waters to the Chief of the Great Lakes; Lake Superior and to combine healing to all other waters with your salt water. We orphan you from your home, we know that and we will take great care as we journey with you to the great lakes. Miigwech nibi (thank you, water),” said Mandamin, in speaking to the Hudson’s Bay water.

“Each step we take is a prayer for the water, for Mother Earth, for the animals, the birds, the insects, the trees and for us, all two leggeds. By all of us walking, we offer a prayer for life,” added Mandamin, 69, an Ojibway elder from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

This Spring, the Water Walk returns and the prayer continues. The 2011 Water Walk will unite all the waters of North America walking from all four directions including:

  • Hudson’s Bay (North Walk beginning today in Churchill, MB)
  • Gulf of Mexico (South Walk began April 20 in Gulfport, MS)
  • Atlantic Ocean (East Walk began on May 7 in Machias, ME)
  • Pacific Ocean (West Walk began on April 10 in Olympia, WA).

With the start of the North Walk, all four Walks are now being held concurrently.

The Mother Earth Water Walk was conceived to be a focal point to raise awareness and generate support, recognition and awareness of the importance of keeping water clean. The message of these women is simple: Water is precious and sacred… We need to work together to protect water as it is one of the basic elements needed for life to exist.

Nearly every Spring, the women and their supporters have walked each of the Great Lakes and the length of the St. Lawrence River. The movement has been growing exponentially ever since.

It is estimated that a total of 9,426 km and well over 10 million steps will be walked this year.

The Anishinaabe, also known as the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi, are the caretakers of the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system on Earth. Anishinaabe women, as givers-of-life, are responsible for speaking for, protecting and carrying our water.

All people are encouraged and welcome to participate in and to support the 2011 Water Walk as it passes through their Provinces, States and communities.

– 30 –

Quick Links

Mother Earth Water Walk

 

Interactive Map

 

Backgrounder & Media Kit

 

Give to Water Walk

 

Find us on Facebook

For more information:

Bob Goulais

Media Relations

(905) 591-5594

info@bobgoulais.com

Joanne Robertson

Communications Coordinator

waterwalk2011@gmail.com