Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Walking on the water

Posted on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

One of the four legs of a cross-continental walk to draw attention to imperiled water supplies passes through Spokane this weekend.

A group of Native American and Canadian First Nations women and men walked out of Olympia April 10, beginning the West Walk, a trek lasting more than two months to reach Bad River, Wis., and meet up with other walkers coming from the North, South and East.

The Walk for Water began in 2003, says Joanne Roberts, speaking from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The first walk, going all the way around Lake Superior, was undertaken by three First Nation grandmothers, Roberts says, who were increasingly disturbed by pollution and overuse of the Earth’s water supply.

The effort is led by Josephine Mandamin, an elder with the Ojibway, who accompanied the West walkers out of Olympia until Sunday. Women walkers carry a pail of Pacific Ocean water. Men carry eagle-feather staffs. At Bad River, water from the four directions will be poured into Lake Superior. The South walk began Wednesday in coastal Mississippi, the anniversary of the Gulf oil spill.

Information can be found at the website, emptyglassforwater.ca. Here is a video of Mandamin talking about the walk around the Great Lakes:

The walkers who left Olympia cover about 35 miles each day, Roberts says, on the road from about 4 am till dark.

They are expected to arrive in Spokane Friday or Saturday. Details of events in Spokane have been hard to nail down. As we learn more, we'll let you know.

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