Water is Life and women are life givers, and so it is a traditionally recognized responsibility for women to take care of that which is necessary for Life.
Anishinaabeg teach that we as human beings were given original instructions to nurture our relationships with all Creation and to walk with our Earth Mother in a good way.
We do this with respect, gratitude and love with our body, minds and spirit honouring the natural harmony on the planet. It is a necessary relationship which is reflected in our female/male roles as human beings. Women were given the role of taking care of the water and men the role of taking care of fire. This responsibility reflects the natural balance of water and fire. Too much or too little of one or the other (water or fire) and they will disappear.
Anishinaabe Kwewag (Indigenous Women), and all women, have the powerful ability to carry life which is born of sacred ancestral birth waters called forth by Nokomis Giizis (Grandmother Moon) after nine months. This process has taken place since time immemorial and reflects the sacred harmony of carrying/caring for the force we call “Life”. It is therefore a woman’s responsibility to honour and care for Nibi (Water), the source of all life, for the next seven generations.
“In ceremony such as a water walk, only women carry the water, indicating that women are caretakers of water, and carry life within themselves (childbirth).” – Josephine Mandamin, 2017 (read more)
All are invited to join the Great Lakes Water Walk and reflect on how we can honour and protect our waters. It is not a protest, performance, or athletic competition. Because it is a ceremonial walk, we kindly ask that women wear long skirts and men long pants to show respect for our Grandmothers and Mother Earth, and that walkers remain behind the lead walkers carrying the water. The Water Walk is inclusive of all, so please come as you identify.