Migizi Ndodem (I am Eagle Clan).
Wiikwemkoong Ndoojibaa (I come from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory).
My role as Anishinaanbe-kwe is to protect our water and mother earth. And as a youth that is what our role should be, to learn these teachings so we can protect our land and waters. Since I was a young girl my mother and my great auntie Josephine Mandamin shared teachings on our traditional way of life, learning about the land, respecting life, respecting myself, learning medicines and learning about our sacred water.
At an early age I learned how sacred water (nibi) is to all of creation from my great auntie Josephine. Her work caught my attention as it made me think, “what would we do without water”? and that thought scared me. I saw my great auntie walk around the Great Lakes and I participated in several water walks myself in my lifetime praying for our water. She travels all over the land advocating for our water, and she is getting older and her health isn’t good and this concerns me. What will happen when she can’t travel no more? Who will speak for our water? So all these thoughts go through my mind and I decided I would also speak up for our water, as it is not just my future, but my great grand children’s future, and children around the world.
She is my inspiration and she has taught me to understand the sacredness of water, I live by these teachings on a daily basis and have so much love and respect for our water and our lands. Understanding that we come from water and lived in water for nine months really it home for me. Hearing how I breathed in that water from my mother, and that I am a part of my mother, and we are all a part of mother earth. The same life blood that flows within mother earth flows within us, we are water. Water has a spirit and is alive. There are scientific studies that prove this. This sacred water sustains all of life and sustains us each day as we can’t live without water.
If we don’t have fresh water everything dies, everything gets sick. Our water is getting sicker faster than we can decide on ways to fix it. Each day the water gets contaminated by humans in some way. We also should not have to pay for water, or live on a monthly water supply because we can’t drink the water. Water comes from the earth she doesn’t charge us for it. We take it and we put a price on it for profit. We take everything from the land and mother earth only suffers she doesn’t profit from our consumption and destruction. We put pipelines on lands that destroy the land and destroy the waters, and the companies do this destruction without consent or without asking our people about traditional burial sites or sacred lands.
Or the companies don’t ask the animals how they feel that they destroy their lands and destroy their natural habitat. When Mother Earth suffers, everything suffers. We need her, she doesn’t need us as she has been in existence for billions of years. Having access to clean drinking water is a basic human right, no child should have to worry about water. Drinking bottled water has to stop.
Anyone can do this work, I do this work not for me for any gain. I do this for my great grandchildren, I do it for the ones that don’t have a voice, I do it for my people, but most of all I do it for our water, she has a spirit that is crying out and we are not listening. She needs a voice. So I will lend her my voice and I will not stop advocating for clean drinking water until children in my country and around the world can drink their water. We need to stand together for all of humanity and mother earth and protect our waters.
Miigwech Autumn Peltier MskwaaGiizo Kwe, migizi ndodem
- 2729 Wiikwemkoong Way
- Wiikwemkoong, ON