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BAD RIVER, WISCONSIN - This past weekend salt waters gathered along from four directions during the Mother Earth 'Turtle Island' Water Walk 2011 from oceans of the east, south, west and north of Turtle Island converged in Bad River, Wisconsin.
Water is Carried to Ceremony
The waters were carried in ceremony by core groups of committed walkers in each direction, supported by hundreds of community members along the way.
In great celebration the waters and walkers met Saturday June 11 at noon at the Three Fires Midewiwin lodge. They were greeted by the Bad River Tribe at the local powwow grounds, honored with food, gifts, expressions of support and solidarity.
"Walkers shared their incredible stories, adding to the words of leadership and environmental groups, providing a strong statement in defense of water, the lifeblood of our Mother Earth," commented Joanne Robertson, Misko Anungo, Migizi Clan, coordinator, Central Communications Post, Water Walk 2011 from Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Water Arrives at the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge
“To protect the water is to protect the source of all life,”
On Sunday, June 12, on the shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, 3 boats were launched carrying the Midewahnikwe (Mide Water Women) and the lead walkers and staff carriers from the four directions; a migizi (bald eagle) circling above them as the water drum sounded and the women sang.
First the Midewahnikwe offered the water bundle gift to the great lake; followed by the meeting of the four salt waters with the freshwater. Hundreds of people and the Little Boy Water drum gathered on the cliff and sandy shore at Madigan Beach to witness and participate through songs and prayer.
Walkers Share their Incredible Stories in Defense of Water
"It was amazing to see all the people together," said Dawnis Kennedy, Ojibwa, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, who served as one of the Water Walk 2011's organizers. "To see grandparents there with their kids, who had their kids there was quite a sight. The grandchildren understood what the ceremony was all about."
This Water Walk was conducted to bring awareness to the importance of keeping our water clean for this and future generations. The first Women's Water Walk - as it was known then - took place April 2003. Several American Indian women from different clans came together to raise awareness to the on-going pollution that threatens the water. The pollution comes from chemicals, vehicle emissions, motor boats, sewage disposal, agricultural run-off, leaking landfill sites and residential usage.
"All life needs water, whether human, other animals and plants need water," stated Suzanne Patles, Mi-kaq, another coordinator from Eskasoni, Nova Scotia. "We need to respect water and treat it well. We should love the water where we live. Some places don't have good water."
Photo credit and our thanks to Anna Martineau Merritt
posted June 14, 2011 8:05 am et
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The emotion and Spiritual energy surrounding this Water Walk, was more than I had dreamed of...I came to a rally and left a changed person...The spirit...
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