Mother Earth Water Walk

Mother Earth Water Walk is an Anishinaabe led initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of water and the need for protection of water. Organizers and participants have walked around bodies of water since 2003 as a way of taking action against water pollution.[1]


In 2003 Anishinaabe grandmothers, including Grandmother Josephine Mandamin,[2] along with many Anishinaabe women and men, began walking around the Great Lakes on Turtle Island. They came together to raise awareness about society's negligence towards water.

In 2011 a Health Canada study found that 122 First Nation communities were under water advisories.[3] The rising need for water preservation and clean water inspired a much larger water walk to take place in 2011. The 2011 Mother Earth Water Walk involved walks collecting water from the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Superior, and the Gulf of Mexico. Water from the four directions and four bodies of water was walked to Bad River, Wisconsin and mixed with Lake Superior waters during a ceremony on June 12, 2011.[3]

Since its conception Mother Earth Water Walkers have walked over 10,000 miles along the shores of bodies of Water in Canada, Central America, and the United States. In 2016 Josephine Mandamin, founder of the Mother Earth Water Walk, was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for her work raising awareness about water conservation and the dangers of fracking, pollution, and the bottled water industry.[4]

Past Walks

Mother Earth Water Walkers have traveled around numerous bodies of water to raise awareness about the need for water preservation. Walks have included:

  • Lake Superior (2003)[5]
  • Lake Michigan (2004, 2008)[6]
  • Lake Huron (2005)[7]
  • Lake Ontario (2006)
  • Lake Erie (2007)
  • St. Lawrence River (2009)[1]
  • Four Directions Water Walk (2011)
  • Lake Monona (2012)
  • Lake Nipigon (2012)
  • Lake Winnebago (2015)
  • Sacred Walk (2015)
  • Menominee River (2016)[8][9]

Walks Inspired by the Mother Earth Water Walks


  • Excellence in Conservation, Ontario Heritage Trust, February 26, 2016 [11][12][13]
  • 2015 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award [14][15][16]
  • October 2015, George R. Richardson Conservation Award of Honour [17]
  • Lake Superior Magazine 2011 Achievement Award [18]
  • Outstanding Achievement Award Winner, Earth Ball 2016 [19]
  • Honouring Grandmother Josephine Mandamin 2017 [20]
  • Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012 [21]


  1. ^ King, Miriam (June 27, 2014). "Mother Earth Water Walk around local lakes sending a message". Barrie Examiner. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  2. ^ "About Us | Mother Earth Water Walk". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  3. ^ a b Ashawasegai, Jennifer (2011). "Grandmother walks to protect water". Ontario Birchbark. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  4. ^ "Ojibwe Grandmother and Water Walker Josephine Mandamin Honored for Conservation". Indian Country Today Media Network. May 3, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  5. ^ "'It's really very crucial right now': Great Lakes Water Walk focuses on protecting 'lifeblood' | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  6. ^ Brown, Lynne. "'The Water Walker'. A Book inspired by Nibi |". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  7. ^ "Trekking the Great Lakes on foot to raise awareness about water pollutants | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  8. ^ Alexander, Jeff (April 22, 2016). "Menominee River Walk raises attention to proposed mine". Archived from the original on June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  9. ^ "Menominee Tribe Organizes Opposition To 'Back Forty' Mine As Project Nears Approval". Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  10. ^ "Water Song: Indigenous Women and Water - The Solutions Journal". The Solutions Journal. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  11. ^ "Ojibwe Grandmother and Water Walker Josephine Mandamin Honored for Conservation - Indian Country Media Network". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  12. ^ "Award-winning First Nations elder 'will go any lengths for the water'". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  13. ^ "UNION OF ONTARIO INDIANS – Grandmother receives Ontario award for taking care of the water". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  14. ^ Brown, Lynne. "Josephine Mandamin, Sacred Water Walker receiving prestigious award |". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  15. ^ "The Ontario Heritage Trust". Ontario Heritage Trust. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  16. ^ "Water and Indigenous Activism | Calgary Institute for the Humanities | University of Calgary". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  17. ^ "Media Release: 2015 Conservation Award Winners - Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  18. ^ LeMay, Konnie (2011-09-22). "2011 Achievement Award: Walking for Water". Lake Superior Magazine. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  19. ^ "Earth Day Canada Earth Ball". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  20. ^ "Honouring Grandmother Josephine Mandamin «  New College – University of Toronto". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  21. ^ "Ontario Native Women's Association" (PDF).

8. McGregor, Debra (September 2012). “Traditional Knowledge: Considerations for protecting Water in Ontario”. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, Article 11

External links

  • Mother Earth Water Walker website [2]
  • Publisher, Second Story Press [1]
  • ^ "The Water Walker". Second Story Press. Retrieved 2018-03-14.

  • This page was last updated at 2019-11-15 21:49 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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