• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Honouring the source of all life with Grandmother Josephine

In Council Watch
Mar 10th, 2019
Grandmother Josephine begins a Water Walk around Lake Simcoe - June 24 2014

Grandmother Josephine begins a Water Walk around Lake Simcoe – Looking back to June 24 2014. 

AWARE News Network

By Maggie Malone AWARE Essa

Betty Big Canoe and the rest of the Anishinaabe organizers of the Waawaasegaming (Lake Simcoe) Water Walk invited people from all Nations to walk with them when they came to our area in 2014.

Representing AWARE Simcoe, I joined Grandmother Josephine and her core group on the mainland part of the Lake Simcoe Water Walk, at the Virginia Beach Marina at 9:30 a.m. on June 24.

It was wet and misty that morning, but that did not prevent the elderly Grandmother Josephine from kneeling down on the side of the dock and dipping her copper kettle into Lake Simcoe. Carrying the copper kettle to where the flag bearers had formed a circle, she joined them in performing the Water Ceremony, the prayer said in the Anishinaabe language.

Grandmother Josephine with Maggie

Then Grandmother Josephine leading the way, began the walk. Seeing me alone, she invited me to walk part of the way with her. I was in awe of her and the core group of supporters who were walking with her.

Around noon, there was a break in the weather: it stopped raining. So we stopped to have lunch at one of the designated rest stops. People appeared bearing gifts of food; cars passing by honked their horns in support; and other people stopped by to thank Grandmother Josephine, for her efforts in trying to save the waters of the Great Lakes.

Heavy rain began to fall, but we carried on along the lakeshore to Keswick. When my day’s journey was completed, I bid farewell to Grandmother Josephine and her group, knowing as I left that I had been a part of a sacred pilgrimage to honour the source of all life: Water.

Here is a video of Grandmother Josephine speaking about the her water walks.


A moment of contemplation

I hope someone decides to hold a Woman’s Water Walk in her honour this summer, or at some other time.

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Water Protectors

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