First Grand River Water Walk to Start on September 15th
Kitchener Water Walker Invites All Nations to Participate
Grand River, Ontario: September 15-29, 2018: A group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous walkers led by Anishnaabe elder Mary Anne Caibaiosai will walk the Grand River from source to mouth and back in September as a way of honouring the river and the sacredness of water.
The All Nations Grand River Water Walk will start up at the source on September 15th and run until September 29th. A traditional Anishnaabe water walk involves carrying water from the source of the river, in a copper pail that continues moving, to the end of the river. The full duration of the time the water is in motion, is sacred ceremony. Mary Anne Caibaiosai, who lives in Kitchener, was inspired to organise the All Nations Grand River Water Walk after participating in the “For the Earth and Water Walk 2017” led by Josephine Mandamin, the founder of the original Water Walks along the coast of the Great Lakes. Mary Anne is organizing this walk in memory of her sister Violet Caibaisai, and for this walk she is welcoming people from all nations to join her in ceremony, citing Josephine’s phrase, “It is time for all two-leggeds to walk for the water”. Mary Anne is planning to undertake the walk as an annual event for the next four years.
The walk will begin near Dundalk, ON, at the headwaters or the river, and travel south along the west bank of the river to Lake Erie, and return north along the east bank. On the first day the walk will start at 7am, but every day after that at 4am. Each day the walkers will wrap up by mid-afternoon. Local schools and faith communities are rallying to feed and house the walkers. The public is welcome to join the walkers for a short time, a whole day or even longer. Information about precise locations each day will be available on the website and FaceBook Page, as will a description of the ceremonial protocols that all participants are asked to follow.
Mary-Anne is hoping that many people from all walks of life will join the journey or support the effort. “It is my dream that many people in the Grand River Watershed will join us in this walk so they too can re-connect to Mother Earth and to the waters. In light of this dream, we seek support through financial and other donations of food, sleeping accommodations, drinking water, gas, first aid items; support through prayers and helping us bring awareness for this walk and for the need for clean and healthy water. We are grateful for any of this support people can offer. We walk for the water for seven generations and beyond!”
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The All Nations Grand River Water Walk is a non-profit community activity organized by Mary Anne Caibaisai and a group of volunteers. For more information about the walk, please check our website and Facebook page.