Awareness-raising Water Walk, May 22 – 30
In an ongoing effort to raise awareness of risks to the Shubenacadie River posed by Alton Gas, the Grassroots Grandmothers have planned an event that takes place the last week in May. Here is their description and statement.
Mi’kmaki Water Walk 2021 is a week-long Water Ceremony, led by Mi’kmaq Women, to pray for the protection and healing of the water, open to those who want to join in and pray for the water Week of May 22 – 30. The walk is 71 miles (114 km) from Dartmouth (on the Atlantic coast side of Nova Scotia along the Halifax Harbor) to Maitland, NS, at the mouth of the Shubenacadie River on Cobequid Bay.
We will carry the water of our beautiful, bountiful, ecosystem, the historic Shubenacadie River Watershed, from the Halifax Harbor to Maitland, NS, in the footsteps of our Ancestors, along the Shubenacadie Canal system, Shubenacadie Grand Lake and Shubenacadie River system, 114 KM. We will pray and walk for the Water and give thanks as Treaty People, to honor our responsibility to protect the water and respect our Mother Earth. Our river is still under threat of destruction and we need to stand up and speak for the water, pray for the water, and protect the water that has sustained us for over 13,000 years in Mi’kmaki.
Traditionally, the women are responsible to care for and protect the water. Water is Sacred. Water is Life. Water is the life-giving blood of our Mother Earth. Women have been gifted with the ability to carry life in the womb, surrounded by water, we drink the water, breathe the water, we are the water. When we are born, we come through the water. Women have also been given the responsibility to protect the water for our children and all future generations. The water needs our prayers and protection now, and we must come together to honor the water and Mother Earth and stand and speak for the water and all our relations – the flyers, swimmers, crawlers, burrowers, plants, trees, rocks, all life that needs clean water to survive.
Our late Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, Mother Earth Water Walker, inspired and taught many women to walk for the water in ceremony to honor our Mother Earth and for protection and healing for the water. Her legacy lives on in the many women walking for the water across Turtle Island. We walk to create awareness, as L’nu, human beings, we are the caretakers and protectors of the lands and waters, the natural elements gifted to us by our Creator. We are placed upon the Earth to share in this most important responsibility to ensure that there will always be clean water, clean air, clean earth, medicines and all that is needed to live for the next 7 generations to come. Netukulimk, we give gratitude, take only what is needed, always uphold the integrity of the environment that is needed to sustain us.
“We walk to honor all water, Nibi, and to speak to the water spirits so that there will be healthy rivers, lakes, and Oceans for our Ancestors and the Generations to come.” -Grandmother Josephine Mandamin