For the earth and water walk makes its way through Essex County

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

From Duluth, Minnesota to Harrow, Ontario, a trip which has lasted over 100 days so far, has been spreading awareness about taking care of our water sources.

On April 20, the group of Anishinaabe (Ojibway) Aboriginals left Minnesota with a copper pail of water from Lake Superior on the shores on Spirit Mountain. They trekked through the rain and show, which Josephine Mandamin explained was very challenging, but they powered through it.

They walked through Amherstburg recently.

“We’re trying to raise awareness about the water issues around the world. Not only around here but all of the great lakes,” said Mandamin. “We have a petition out also on our Facebook. We have gotten a lot of support from people, and have been able to spread awareness about the water, how important it is that we have to take care of the water.”

The symbolism behind the walk is to honor Nibi’s (the Water’s) gift of life for creation. They walk to remember and spread awareness that without water, nothing would survive and it is everyone’s duty to ensure the water of the world is protected. The walkers have gone from Turtle Island along the Great Lakes to Mantane, Quebec where the water will be joined with the water of the St. Lawrence Seaway. In total, the journey will cover 2,285 km and will take a total of approximately four to five months.

Water walkers take turns carrying their ceremonial staff and copper bucket of water from Lake Superior along the shores of Spirit Mountain, spreading awareness about protecting waterways.

Water walkers take turns carrying their ceremonial staff and copper bucket of water from Lake Superior along the shores of Spirit Mountain, spreading awareness about protecting waterways.

Mandamin has been doing the walks since 2003. She also participated in the Wisdom of the Four Directions walk in 2009. This walk however is set to be her last, as she has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and isn’t able to walk nearly as much as she used to. She hopes the tradition will live on, and the younger generations will be willing to take it on.

“I feel really good about this. It’s so overwhelming, the support we have been getting from people,” said Mandamin. “We haven’t spent as much money as we used to, we have been very blessed with people who have come out with food, shelter and gas for our vehicles. It’s been very, very overwhelming.”

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