Water Walker Painting by Moses Lunham,
Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, 2019
- we have a reciprocal relationship with the Earth
- we are stewards of the Earth
- we can take care of the Earth in a sustainable way
The determined Ojibwe grandmother (Nokomis), Josephine Mandamin, and her great love for Nibi (water) walked to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet. Josephine passed away this year and her determination and example challenges us all to take up our responsibility to protect our water, the giver of life, and to protect our planet for all generations. Josephine's story connects locally since Josephine, along with other women, men and youth, have walked around all the Great Lakes from the four salt waters, or oceans, to Lake Superior.
"We’re all born of water, we’re all connected with the water; we’re all related in that way. Even though we’re not related by blood, we’re related by water. So water is very precious for us.” -Josephine Mandamin
For the Anishinaabe, water is associated with Mother Earth and it is the responsibility of grandmothers (nokomis) to lead other women to pray for and protect water. Josephine Mandamin, one of the original water walkers, wanted “to do something about it.” And that she did! She led water walks all around the Great Lakes, bringing awareness of the need to protect water. She has since passed away and we carry her message of the need to protect water. We will have grandmothers join us on our water walk and show support of our call to protect water as a school.
Moses Lunham, Kettle and Stony Point First Nation shares his newest painting, Water Walker, with students and Josephine Mandamin's inspirational story.
"The water is sick, ... and people really need to fight for that water, to speak for that water, to love that water." Josephine Mandamin
Josephine Mandamin's Water Journey
"I speak for the water because water is alive and it does have a spirit. And she hurts every day. " Autumn Peltier
Autumn Peltier addresses the UN on the importance of water.
Canada's Water Crisis: Indigenous Families at Risk
Every Drop Counts: Every school has multiple copies of this scholastic resource.