The First Annual Indigenous Women’s Anti-Violence Task Force (IWAVTF) Nibi Giizhigat/Water Day Walk will be held Friday, March 22nd, 2019. The IWAVTF welcomes people of all ages, genders, cultures, and physical abilities to gather at 180 Projects, 180 Gore Street, beginning at 7:00 am for a Sunrise Ceremony after which a free breakfast will be provided, and Anishinaabe teachings from guest speakers will be offered. Thereafter, we will walk to the riverwalk and put our tobacco down to give thanks to nibi (water). There will be couches available for Elders at 180 Projects. The site and walking route are wheelchair accessible. Please dress for the weather.
World Water Day is a global movement that arose from Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The first International Water Day was commemorated in 1993.
Water is life. It is integral that the Anishinaabek People of Baawaating and everyone gathers to give thanks for the Sacred Gift of the water. It is the responsibility of all inhabitants of this land to protect this gift for future generations. Nibi is the Blood of Shkgaamikwe and the Great Lakes make up the Ode / Heart. We live here in Odenang / The Heart of Shkgaamikwe, this is a Sacred Gathering Place for the Anishinaabek.
Waters in the springtime are associated with birth and renewal. In many Indigenous cultures there are ceremonies that celebrate these first waters. Activists like Nokomis (Grandmother) Josephine Mandamin taught us the connection between the life-giving quality of water during childbirth and Mother Earth’s life-giving cycles and abilities. Josephine talked about her affinity with Mother Earth, because of the shared experience of carrying water and releasing it at birth:
“When the baby is born, the water comes out first. Water gushes out. The affinity with Mother Earth [comes from] the same [process]. I began to realize that Mother Earth does the same thing in the spring when she is going to give birth to the young. Her water starts to gush out and spring water starts to flow. And pretty soon, life comes.”
Join in celebrating World Water Day, honouring Nokomis Josephine Mandamin, and empowering each other to take a stand for mother earth.