The Anishinabe consider women the protectors of the waters, and as such, a core group of Native women in Thunder Bay, Ontario has organized the 1st Annual Women’s Water Walk 2003. This walk with the water began April 18th, 2003 on the west side of Lake Superior in Bad River, Wisconsin, and will end at the same place in June after traveling 1,300 miles.
The group is walking to raise awareness about the importance of keeping our waters clean and free from privatization, and protecting our waters and ensuring the everlasting use of the water by our children, our grandchildren and the next generations. During the walk, the women plan to meet with people to discuss environmental threats to the Lake and discuss how they can help. To symbolize the importance of protecting the Great Lakes, the women will carry a pail of Lake Superior water the entire 1,300 miles. It is anticipated that other Native women living around the other Great Lakes will make challenges and organize similar walks. The group also encourages other Native women to walk with them around Lake Superior.
The idea for the hike was born last year after a sundance in Pipestone, Minnesota where an elder spoke of a prophecy that in 30 years the water is going to be so polluted that it will not be drinkable. Threats to the Great Lakes include pollution,water diversion, the proposed St. Lawrence Seaway expansion, and petroleum drilling.
Coincidentally, the starting and ending point of the Women’s Water Walk 2003 is the same as the summer 200 “Walk to Remember: A Sacred Journey For Lake Superior,” which also circled the lake. The walk in 200 delivered a message of living in harmony with the land. If you would like further information, please contact: Thecla Neganegijig, firstname.lastname@example.org or Josephine Mandamin, 807-625-8564, email@example.com