On Sunday September 24 th 2017 , Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners invite Walk Teams from corporate, government, nonprofit, and student organizations to join the Great Lakes Water Walk along Toronto’s waterfront. The aim of this event is to reawaken our community’s commitment to safeguard the Great Lakes through the shared experience of walking for water.
Indigenous peoples consider water as a sacred spirit, or Nibi , to be cherished and revered. Anishinaabe Elder Josephine Mandamin has dedicated herself to protecting water by leading Water Walks. These Walks are more than a celebration of local waterways: they are potent ceremonies with the power to change one’s relationship with water.
The Great Lakes influence our history, economy, and communities. Yet, our waters are suffering from neglect and degradation. The Walk is an invitation to reflect upon what we can do individually and collectively to ensure the wellbeing of our waters for future generations.
The Great Lakes Water Walk is a free, public event along Toronto’s waterfront and participants can join or leave at any point. It is not a protest, performance, or athletic competition. In the morning, Elders and participants will meet at J.C. Saddington Park and Bluffer’s Park. Throughout the day, they will carry water in copper pails towards the central Marilyn Bell Park. Here, Elders will lead a water blessing ceremony. They will be joined by the Chiefs of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Scugog Island First Nation, and leaders of cultural and faith groups, government agencies, businesses, youth, and community organizations.
The Walk is an Ontario 150 Signature Project and part of “ GREATNESS: The Great Lakes Project ”. It is the first step toward an annual National Day of Walking for Water and promotes the right relationship between Indigenous peoples and other Canadians for our next 150 years.
Participants can register at www.greatlakesaterwalk.ca/get-involved/ .
Learn more about why we walk by watching our video at https://youtu.be/gr3FfIKi6QQ .
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