Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Water Walkers........"

Monona, WI, hosted the "Lake Monona Water Walk Community Festival" (http://lakemononawaterwalk.org/), which began last Friday night.  Don and I went to Winnequah Park on Saturday to hear a few of the guest speakers.  The person we were most interested in hearing was Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, an Anishinawbe, which, if I understand correctly, is part of the Ojibway Nation.  She, along with other women from her tribe, and eventually men for "balance" (spiritually), initiated the 1st of several walks around The Great Lakes and lastly, the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Here is Grandmother Josephine speaking at Saturday's event.  She told her story of how the "water walkers" came into being, all in hopes of raising awareness to the peril of our natural lakes and streams water quality.  Please click on the link above to read the entire story (under "about").

A 15 mile walk around Lake Monona was scheduled for Sunday, in which Don participated.  Sunday dawned bright and beautiful with a bit cooler temperature than what the previous few mornings had been.  A good omen.   ;)

The days events began at Frost Woods Beach on Lake Monona, at 6:30 AM with a Sunrise Ceremony Water Blessing led by Grandmother Josephine.  Several others followed her and gave blessings as well.  In all honesty, Don and I did not stay for those, but left and went out to breakfast.  The walk around the Lake would start at 9:30 AM, so after breakfast, I drove Don back to Frost Woods Beach where he took the next few photos.  Prior to the walk beginning, a Native American drum ceremony took place......

Grandmother Josephine is joined in dance by (I think!) a member of the Ho Chunk Tribe.

Grandmother Josephine's son, Gabriel, who also participated in the ceremony, is in the plaid shirt.  He also led the walkers for most of the walk.......

After driving home, I hung out for awhile, then rode my bike to meet up with the "Water Walkers" along their route.  With the modern convenience of cell phones, Don was able to tell me where they were so I wouldn't be riding around aimlessly in my search for them.  I rode along with them for awhile, then back home.  I would be at Frost Woods Beach when the water walkers arrived back, but I had a commitment to meet with my Mens Knitting Group first.   ;)

The walk took longer than anticipated but having met up with the walkers on my way to the beach, I knew they would be later than originally expected.  I had my iPad with me so I sat and read my current book.

There was a short closing ceremony at the beach.  Pictured are Dianne' (organizer of the weekends events), Gabriel, Grandmother Josephine.

Granted I did not participate in the water walk, but none the less, I did enjoy the 2 days of events.  Have a good one!   ;)


Nan said...

Even though you did not do the walk, I'm sure you are more aware of taking care of our precious resources....as you have made your readers.

Molly Bee said...

This is awesome. I'd never heard of it before!