Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Thunder Bay, ON – Today is World Water Day. It is an opportunity to increase awareness of the impact we have, and the potential impact we can have, on the health of our water systems. Today, we pause and reflect on the state of our sacred water.
All life depends on water. We would not be here if it wasn’t for water. Water is life’s most fundamental human need. However, there are children in Canada who do not know what clean running water is. There are children who have lived their whole lives under boil water advisories. In many Indigenous communities, water is not safe. This has serious implications for the well-being of Indigenous women, families, and communities.
The late Chief Water Commissioner and Water Walker, Josephine Mandamin taught us that “without water, there is no life”. Water Walkers have dedicated their lives to protecting water for everyone by bringing awareness of the environmental damage causing pollution to water. Their leadership helps us to understand all the ways we depend on water for life, today and for generations to come.
“Behind every boil water advisory is a grandmother that is too old to fetch water, a mother that cannot afford bottled water, a child that does not know what it is to have clean water. The work I am doing is not for me, but for my community, and for my grandmother Josephine Mandamin. The work I am doing is for my descendant and the future.” – Autumn Peltier, Chief Water Commissioner and Water Walker
Next time you turn on the tap and get a glass of clean water, remember that not everyone in Canada has that privilege. Today, on World Water Day, and all days of the year, let us hold the water in its rightful sacredness that our very lives depend on.
For more information:
Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)