Inspiration from our Grandmothers: Mother Earth Water Walks

I remember living in Alberta and hearing about a new movement afoot led by a two Anishinawbe grandmothers drawing attention to what they saw as the plight of water.  They were setting out to walk around Lake Ontario. It was the fourth year they had done a walk such as this.  The first was around Lake Superior, the second around Lake Michigan and the third Lake Huron. I was stunned …and I like walking. I walk miles around my communities. I often even check how long it would take to walk further distances when I am searching travel directions on my iphone google maps application, but to actually walk every day for over a month?

Mother Earth Water Walks continue to this day. Since that summer in 2006 when I first learned of Josephine (one of the two Anishinawbe Grandmothers mentioned above), she has walked all 5 great lakes and even up and down the St. Lawrence River.  Every year she seems to be joined by more water walkers.

This year their sights are even higher as they set off on 4 coordinated walks in the 4 primary directions of Turtle Island (known as North American to us settlers).  North from Manitoba; East from Maine; South from Mississippi; West from Washington State.  All walks will be converging with 4 pails of salt water – symbolizing the interconnection of our oceans, peoples and waters – on Bad River Wisconsin.

Although this is not an “event” of Canada Water Week, I was reconnected with this effort early in the Water Week organizing.  I continue to find ways to stretch water week into April and May so that we may connect more people to initiatives such as the Mother Earth Water Walks.

If our grandmothers are willing to walk for months to raise awareness on water, what are we willing to do? Please follow their journey, and connect it to your own journey. We all need to walk this walk.

To find out more about the Mother Earth Water Walkers go to


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2 Responses to “Inspiration from our Grandmothers: Mother Earth Water Walks”

  1. Dagna March 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    What a gorgeous picture you included Lindsay!

  2. Bernadette Tenning March 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Very nice article Lindsay!

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