Wasauksing hosts annual water walk
WASAUKSING - Young and old gathered on the shores of Georgian Bay Monday morning to bring awareness of the harm people are causing to one of our greatest resource - water.
Wasauksing hosts annual water walk.
Wasauksing First Nation members participated in the second annual Mother Earth Water Walk across Parry Island. The event raises awareness of the environmental damage being done to our fresh water systems.
Cody Storm Cooper/North Star
Organized by Deina Bomberry, the second annual Mother Earth Water Walk had about 60 participants trekking the 18 miles from the swing bridge at Wasauksing First Nation to the other side of Parry Island.
The Mother Earth Water Walk first began in April 2003 when several women from different First Nation communities came together to raise awareness about the pollution being dumped into lakes, bays, rivers and streams through vehicle emissions, sewage, leaking landfill and the strain on our drinking water through residential usage.
During the first walk, two Anishinawbe grandmothers and a group of Anishinawbe women and men walked around Lake Superior and have walked around all the other great lakes every year after.
Bomberry said she was inspired to start the first walk on the island, to bring to light the growing issue with water quality in our area.
Prior to the event, Bomberry said four generations - “a grandmother, a mother, a youth and a young one” as well as First Nations men who are carrying the Eagle Staff, will fill a copper vessel with water from the Bay and sing a water song.
“In our ceremonies, we always make sure we have the four generations represented so that these water ceremonies and the teachings can be continued and be passed on,” Bomberry explained. “The women are the ones that will carry the vessel and the men carry our Eagle Staff. Everybody has a chance to put their hands in the water and walk. What we’re trying to do is bring more awareness that water is life to us and the importance; the sacredness of the water and the life that it gives to us and everything in creation - the earth, the animals, the plants the trees - everything.”
When the walkers reach the other side of the island, they will dump the water from the copper vessel back into Georgian Bay.
Bomberry added that students at Wasauksing School have been learning how to conserve water and be more cognizant of how they use water in their daily lives.
“Through the school, for the last month, the kids have been learning how to take care of the water, how we can take care of it at home,” said Bomberry adding that there are a few easy steps everyone can take to conserve water. “Making sure we have containers in the fridge, so we’re not running the water for a cold drink of water; making sure we’re not running the water while we’re brushing our teeth; making sure our washing machines and dishwashers are full before we turn them on - there’s so many different ways to save water.”
Bomberry is already looking forward to next year’s walk and has a bigger goal in mind.
“A dream that I have - because we need to make our children aware - I’m hoping next year, we can walk from our water treatment plant here (on the island) to the water treatment plant in town. So that our awareness goes beyond,” she said. “We’re not the only ones that are thinking about what we have to do to preserve that water, that life.”