By Barbara With
Posted March 21, 2013, on United in Defense of the Water
Reprinted with permission
This will be a 30.2 mile, 1-day Voluntary Journey in honor of International World Water Day 2013, the Misa Ziibii (Mississippi) Water Walk 2013 and local efforts to prevent sulfide mining in Northern Wisconsin.
The People of the Chequamegon Bay Region are Idle No More and will be gathering to collect water from Tyler Forks to walk with it in Ceremony from the Bad River Wake House, to Legendary Waters Resort and Casino in Red Cliff. This journey is to exemplify solidarity for the health and well-being of our home, here in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Tyler Forks River. (Photo © Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)
Here is the schedule for anyone wishing to be present for the Prayer at Tyler Forks:
6 a.m. -- Depart Odanah from Chief Blackbird Center
6:45 a.m. -- Arrive at Tyler Forks
7:15 a.m. -- Depart Tyler Forks
8 a.m. -- Arrive at Bad River Wake House to start walking to Red Cliff
In conjunction with the walk, a fundraising effort will be held at the Legendary Waters Convention Center in Red Cliff beginning at 5 p.m. The agenda will include
speakers, discussion, food and refreshments.
Copper Falls (Wis.). (Photo © Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)
Since the Water will be prayed for in a Sacred Manner, certain protocols for participation in the walk must be adhered to:
1. All participants in this walk are at all times like the water, a reflection of the beauty of our home. We ask that participants be humble, respectful, determined and focused while they enjoy this walk, especially when carrying the water or staff. DO NOT HARASS, DISRESPECT OR HARM ANY ADVERSARY ALONG THIS PATH. Police protection will be available, if we need them.
2. People of ALL NATIONS are welcome to join the Walk and carry the water and/or staff; PROVIDED they adhere to these Protocols.
3. Be respectful of the water and Eagle Staff. Carry them with self-respect, dignity, and humility as though they are as precious as an infant child.
4. ONLY WOMEN CARRY THE WATER. This is the Women’s responsibility.
5. Women must wear SKIRTS when walking.
6. ALTHOUGH BOTH MEN AND WOMEN MAY CARRY THE EAGLE STAFF, Women on their Moon Time (Menstrual Cycle) must refrain from carrying the staff and water, but they can walk behind the Walkers at any time.
7. Once the Water is in motion, IT CANNOT GO BACKWARDS AND IT CANNOT STOP. Be sure to gauge your pace at stop lights to continue moving.
8. With the exception of Elders, the walkers will change every 10-20 minutes.
9. An offering of Asema (Tobacco) will be given at every bridged waterway along the route.
10. Weather conditions are expected to be in the 30s; wear appropriate clothing, especially comfortable shoes with good soles and SUNSCREEN.
11. Hydrate often, but remember, we will only have access to restrooms at certain points along the route. Also, BRING ENERGY SNACKS.
12. It is preferred, but not necessary, that when the Eagle Staff and Water is being passed to the next set of Walkers, the words: "NINGA-IJI-CHI-GAY-NIBI-ONJI" are said by
both the carriers and the recipients. It means: "I DO THIS FOR THE WATER." This phrase may also be said in English.
13. If you have a vehicle, be sure to have adequate fuel and USE EMERGENCY FLASHERS WHEN WAITING FOR, OR DRIVING BEHIND, THE WATER WALKERS. PARK OFF-ROAD IF POSSIBLE WHEN WAITING FOR WALKERS.
ANYONE WISHING TO PARTICIPATE OR HELP WITH THE CHEQUAMEGON WATER WALK 2013 can contact the following people: Edith Leoso, (715) 292-8286 THPO@badriver-nsn.gov or; Georgianne Olin, (715) 682-7127 ext. 1440.