Chiefs of Ontario Support Ojibwe Elder, Grandmother and Water Walker Josephine Mandamin on Her 2017 Water Walk from Duluth, Minnesota to Matane, Quebec

April 21, 2017 8:36 pm
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(Toronto, April 21, 2017) Yesterday, Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, of Wikwemikong First Nation, began her annual Water Walk to raise awareness of the pollution and poisoning of our lakes and rivers on both sides of the Great Lakes borders. Since 2003, Josephine has walked over 25,000 kilometres.

“On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, we wish a safe journey for Josephine, who is a true warrior and champion for our Peoples,” said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day. “Last year, the Province of Ontario recognized her tireless work at raising awareness with the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation. 

“Josephine is not only walking for future generations, but as a living example of our 2008 Chiefs of Ontario Water Declaration, which reads in part:

The Anishinaabek, Mushkegowuk and Onkwehonwe in Ontario have knowledge, laws, and our own ways to teach our children about their relationship to the waters;

Article 20: We announce and proclaim our role as the First Peoples of Turtle Island – the original caretakers – with rights and responsibilities to defend and ensure the protection, availability, and purity of all water both fresh and salt for the survival of the present and future generation:

Article 25: The animals, fish, and all living organisms are affected by pollution of the waters where we are told to eat one fish a week rather than following our own diet and;

Article 26: The Anishinaabek, Mushkegowuk and Onkwehonwe in Ontario have been denied a role in the decision making which results in the contamination of this precious gift;

Article 31: The Anishinaabek, Mushkegowuk and Onkwehonwe in Ontario have observed that the waters are increasingly being subjected to review and governed by foreign economic values which alienate the relationships with the Anishinaabek, Mushkegowuk and Onkwehonwe in Ontario and our relationships to all waters.

For more information, and to follow Josephine’s latest Water Walk, please visit: or follow on Facebook at @FortheEarthandWaterWalk2017FromWesttoEast

The Chiefs of Ontario is an advocacy forum, and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada.

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