Sunrise Celebration “Water is Life” held on Port Dover beach

By Heather Walters

NIIBII Biimaadzwin means Water Is Life according to Val King, a native of the Mississaugas of the Credit, who led a sunrise prayer ceremony Thursday morning on the shore of Lake Erie.  Several others joined her on the beach at the water’s edge to give thanks for water, and to pray that they and all others that walk the earth take their roles seriously as caretakers of the waterways.  The ceremony coincided with the October full moon.

 

The participants travelled from several places to gather on the shore, including Brantford, Six Nations, and Langton, where they sang sacred water songs, smudged sage, and offered thanks to the life giving body of water.
This ceremony was part of a much larger initiative that has been meeting on the same day at the same time since 2003 all along the shores of all the Great Lakes.
According to Ms. King, last year’s Water Walk attracted nearly 300 Water Walkers overall, whose goal is to draw attention to the importance of water preservation.
Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, began the Mother Earth Water Walk in 2003 logging thousands of kilometres walking around the shorelines of all the Great Lakes, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps and raising awareness of the need to respect life giving water sources.
2017 was Mandamin’s final year of Water Walking, but the tradition is being carried on by others determined to continue to deliver her important message.

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