Assembly of First Nations Supports Mother Earth Water Walkers in Their Journey Around the Great Lakes

Published: May 04, 2017News

May 4, 2017 

(Ottawa, ON) –Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde and AFN Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day issued the following statements today in support of Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and all those taking part in the 2017 Mother Earth Water Walk: 

“Grandmother Mandamin and all those walking with her remind us that water is the giver of life, and a sacred and precious gift. We honour her spirit and send our gratitude and prayers of support during this long journey. Her energy and endurance provide an inspiring example for all First Nations.”

National Chief Bellegarde


“On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, we wish a safe journey for Josephine, who is a true warrior and champion for our Peoples. 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.”

Regional Chief Day

On April 19, 2017, Grandmother Josephine Mandamin began her fourteenth annual Mother Earth Water Walk in Garden River, ON. The walk is a journey around the perimeter of the Great Lakes. Grandmother Mandamin and the walkers carry a copper vessel and Eagle Feather Staff to, in their words, “speak to the water spirits so that there will be healthy rivers, lakes and oceans for our ancestors and the generations to come.” The first annual Women’s Water Walk took place in 2003. The 2017 Mother Earth Water Walk is expected to end May 8, 2017 when the walkers return to Garden River.

You can get more information on the Mother Earth Water Walk and find ways to support the Walkers at:


The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.



Media contact: 

Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-292-0857 or [email protected]