Protecting the Water

Our Waters Our Life

Many of the National Aboriginal Day 2013 celebrations of Indigenous cultures taking place from coast to coast to coast have a heightened focus on water. This is an opportunity to respond to the leadership of Indigenous people who are taking a strong stand to protect the waters for future generations.

In the East, a sacred fire and peaceful gathering led by the Mi’kmaq to protect the waters from hydraulic fracturing; in Ottawa, an Algonquin canoe trip arrives called ‘Paddling for our Waters’; recently in the West there was a Youth 4 Lakes walk initiated by youth from Treaty 3, to name just a few ways Indigenous people in Canada have been putting increased focus on threats to water.

gkisedtanamoogk, Wampanoag from Mashpee and a member of KAIROS’ Indigenous Rights Circle, said in a recent urgent message regarding efforts in New Brunswick to protect the waters from hydraulic fracturing:

“I believe everything that we have ever done in our willing cross-cultural building now includes this time coming to pass, calling to our Hearts and needing to stand together in great numbers, to be taken seriously, to be vocal, to be seen, to be active and to be proactive. Letting First Nations allies stand alone in these and such matters, now must end.”

‘Our Waters, Our Life’ was a response to the invitation from Idle No More to stand with Indigenous peoples for the protection of water and the response has been overwhelming! We have received water from more than 150 locations across the country, from all provinces and one territory. The water will be used this weekend in a ceremony of blessing that will highlight the need to protect water, and affirm its sacredness.

We are blessed with the participation of Algonquin kokoms (grandmothers) who came together around Idle No More and who will lead a water ceremony for KAIROS on Sunday, June 23.

Following the water ceremony and a church service, the kokoms and members of the First United Church congregation in Ottawa will join KAIROS and some invited guests in “Gathering of the Waters”, an event that will include pouring water into one large vessel while its source is publicly acknowledged. The common vessel will then be blessed by representatives of the KAIROS churches and the kokoms.

We encourage you to participate in the acknowledgement of National Aboriginal Day and continue building relationships to protect our waters.

In Peace and Solidarity,

Filed in: Indigenous Rights

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