Ojibwa Grandmother recounts walk around the Great Lakes

by Nick Vander Puy
Reserve, Wisconsin (NFIC/SBN)

About five years ago a First Nation grandmother Josephine Mandamin, along with two other grandmothers, walked around Lake Superior. They wanted to point out humanity's impacts on the largest freshwater body in the world. They’ve since walked around Lake Huron, Lake Eire, Lake Ontario, and Lake Michigan. They carried a thirty pound copper pail of water and an eagle staff.

Why would three grandmothers do this?

Mandamin says, ““We did it for the water, for the earth, for the animals, for the insects, for the trees, for all the two leggeds. To remind all those we came across, that the walk was for them. Not us. The walk was for the next generations, we walked with the water for them also. They will know, as Mother Earth knows that we walked with the water for all of creation.”

After ceremonies on the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin, Josephine Mandamin talks about what she learned on their water walks in this three part video.

Part I: "We found the Majesty of Lake Superior"

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Part II: "People thought we were crazy"

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Part III: "Water will cost as much as Gold "

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