"An Anishinabe prophesied that "In about 30 years, if we humans continue with our negligence, an ounce of drinking water will cost the same as an ounce of gold."
Water is essential to survival and health.
Everything is related to water. This is proportionate to Mother Earth. Our food sources use water to be nutritious. The medicine wheel teachings are about balance in life.
A group of Anishinabe-que and supports have taken action regarding the water issue by walking the perimeter of the Great Lakes with a copper bucket of water. They walked around Lake Superior in Spring 2003, around Lake Michigan in 2004, and Lake Huron in 2005. They plan to walk around the remaining great lakes of North America. This walk is to raise awareness how, we, the human beings on this planet need to know, and take care of our precious resource, the water."
Press Release - Native women and supporters walking around Great Lakes - www.motherearthwaterwalk.com
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, April 29, 2006 - A determined group of First Nations women and their supporters will embark on a walk around two Great Lakes beginning Saturday. This spring brings a unique finale to the vision of the Mother Earth Water Walk. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario will be circled simultaneously by two groups of Anishinabe Women and Men.
"It's important to bring awareness to people of the state of our water and that we have to do something about it," said Irene Peters, 67, lead Grandmother on the Lake Erie walk.
"Water is precious and sacred. It is one of the basic elements needed for all life to exist," said Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, 63, who will lead the Lake Ontario walk.
The Fourth Annual Mother Earth Water Walk will begin on Saturday, April 29th 2006 at the Niagara Regional Friendship Centre in Niagara-on-the-Lake at 10:30 a.m. with a potluck feast. Both groups of Water Walkers will commence their walk after the feast. The Lake Erie Water Walk is expected to be completed in mid-May.
Grandmother Peters, Grandmother Mandamin and a group of women and supporters from the Three Fires Society are calling for action from each community that they pass through on their walk.
"It is important for each community to think of what they can do to protect the water. Each community will come up with their own ideas of how they can keep the water clean," said Grandmother Peters. "It is also a personal responsibility. We have to ask ourselves: How are we using the water? We should not be wasting the water. We should not be putting our garbage in there," said Peters.
It is their collective belief that the prayers offered for the water will make a positive impact for the future, in that our future generations and all of Creation will flourish with clean water. Water is being constantly polluted by chemicals, vehicle emissions, motor boats, sewage disposal, agricultural pollution and leaking landfill sites, and residential usage, exports and diversions are taking a toll on our water quality and quantity. Both Grandmothers hope the Mother Earth Water Walk will instil a positive dialogue among grass-roots citizens as well as government and policy makers.
The Mother Earth Water Walk started during the Spring of 2003 when Grandmother Josephine Mandamin led a group of walkers around Lake Superior. The Mother Earth Water Walk continued a year later around Lake Michigan. Last spring, the group completed a walk around Lake Huron.
The Walkers hope to raise awareness about the state of the Great Lakes water system and the importance of water as a sacred resource that is essential for life. Peters explains the correlation between her Anishinaabe teachings as a woman, the Anishinaabe creation story and the personal responsibility these women are taking.
"We know in Creation, women are given the gift to create and sustain life. We respect our bodies when we are carrying our children by watching what we put in our bodies. Well Mother Earth gives birth to all life and the water is her lifeblood. She needs to be respected also."
"The Water Walk is an opportunity for us to shift our thinking towards respect for life," concluded Mandamin.
The Water Walkers are working diligently to raise funds for this endeavour. Donations can be made directly to the Mother Earth Water Walkers - or - at the Bank of Montreal (Hyde Park & Oxford Street Branch, London, Ontario. Account Name: Irene Peters & R. Mark Bruder) - or - send cheques and money orders to: "Mother Earth Water Walk" 14615 Selton Line, Thamesville, Ontario N0P 2K0.
Interesting facts about the Mother Earth Water Walk:
Native women and supporters to walk around Great Lakes
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, April 28, 2006
A determined group of First Nations women and their supporters will embark on a walk around two Great Lakes beginning Saturday.
This spring brings a unique finale to the vision of the Mother Earth Water Walk. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario will be circled simultaneously by two groups of Anishinaabe Women and Men.
WHAT: Launch of the 2006 Mother Earth Water Walk around Lake Ontario and Lake Erie
WHO: Grandmother Josephine Mandamin ("Sweet Corn") Grandmother Irene Peters ("Gram") Anishinaabe-Kwe and Supporters from the Three Fires Society
WHERE: Niagara Regional Native Friendship Centre, 382 Airport Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2006
Grandmother Peters, Grandmother Mandamin and a group of women and supporters from the Three Fires Society will commence their walk after the feast. It is their collective belief that the prayers offered for the water will make a positive impact for the future, in that our future generations and all of Creation will flourish with clean water.
Platinex described by Mining Watch Canada as "a penny stock junior company with no other properties" (Feb 2006 article) is now trying to get the Ontario courts to give it access to Big Trout Lake traditional territories.
From the Ontario Superior Court of Justice order dated April 18, 2006, Platinex Inc. and their lawyers are now suing ...
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, Donny Morris, Jack McKay, Cecilia Begg, Samuel McKay, John Cutfeet, Evelyn Quequish, Darryl Sainnawap, Enus McKay, Eno Chapman, Randy Nanokeesic, Jane Doe, John Doe and Persons Unknown.
The plaintiff claims the following relief against the defendants, jointly and severally:
The Ontario Health Quality Council (http://www.ohqc.ca) released its first yearly report for 2006. The summary document that is being distributed in newspapers across the province and is available online at http://www.ohqc.ca/en/docs/OHQC_Summary_2006EN.pdf documents two very important findings.
FROM: THE TORONTO STAR NEWSPAPER -
Aboriginals, Immigrants Lose Out On Health Care, Report Suggests - Apr. 26, 2006 - CANADIAN PRESS
Aboriginals, immigrants and low-income families have less access to health care in Ontario than most other residents, says a report released Wednesday by a new agency established to monitor medicare in the province.
The first report of the Ontario Health Quality Council called it a "disturbing reality" that some Ontario residents aren't getting the health care they need "because of who they are."
Council chairman Ray Hession said the agency is simply reporting the reality of the current situation in Ontario, but has not yet had time to determine the reasons behind the findings.
"The indications that led us to say that are what they are: there is disparity, there is inequity," Hession told a news conference.
"We need to assiduously find the reasons why, particularly in the area (of) the aboriginal community."
The council, an arm's-length agency established last fall by the Liberal government, also found higher-income Ontario residents suffering from chest pains get to hospitals faster than those earning lower incomes, who tend to suffer from more serious ailments.
It said women are 50 per cent more likely than men to get a prescription for a tranquillizer, but women with heart disease are less likely to receive diagnostic tests and surgery.
"I imagine there are attitudinal influences there," Hession said.
Surprisingly, the council found northern Ontario residents have better access to heart procedures, hip and knee replacements and cataract and cancer surgeries than those in the south.
But despite all that care, northerners are less healthy and live shorter lives, the report said.
"The north health network is a superb example of the use of communications and technology to deliver care, remotely," Hession said.
"Ontario probably has the best — if not the most widely used — such facilities, but it still leaves us with degrees of disparity. But it's a whole lot better now than was the case."
Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson said the Liberals would use the data in the council's report to find ways to address the shortcomings in health-care delivery.
"It's helpful for us, because it acts as an opportunity for us as a government to improve the health-care system," he said. "I don't look at it as a negative — I look at it as good information."
NDP Leader Howard Hampton said the Liberal government is to blame for many of the problems uncovered in the report.
"Low-income Ontarians and aboriginal people are paying more for health care through the new McGuinty health tax, and are getting less access to health care," he said. "It just shows some of the fundamental unfairness under the McGuinty government."
Conservative health critic Elizabeth Witmer called the report ``an embarrassment" to the Liberal government.
"It's not showing a lot of improvements in recent years," she said.
The health council also said Ontario and Canada should act much more quickly to establish electronic records for every patient, which it believes are fundamental to measuring the performance of the health-care system.
"That's the No. 1 issue if we're going to see real quality improvement in our health system in this province," Hession said. ``What's taking so long? Why are we so tentative about this?"
The council used a 2004 study to determine there were 32,000 people in Ontario who had what it calls "adverse events" after entering hospitals or long-term care facilities, but complained it couldn't adequately determine the exact nature of those events without electronic patient records.
The report found that only four per cent of Ontario hospitals had dedicated stroke units, which have been proven to reduce deaths and costly stays in hospital, but that information was based on data from 1997. Updated figures on the number of stroke units were not available.
Hession said instead of focusing on waiting lists, governments should address the issue of "appropriate access to appropriate care in an appropriate setting."
He said the waiting lists are a result of health-care cutbacks implemented by the previous Conservative government in the mid-1990s, when the numbers of nurses and doctors were reduced.
Are you a community innovator? Does your community support and encourage innovation?
The following document provides a great resource for community leaders and individuals to review and work through to identify areas of innovation that are happening in your community and across the region. TAKING control and building the type of community where are children and families are able to thrive is what this work is all about ...
A Framework for Innovative Rural Communities
Supporting an Innovation Culture within Rural & Northern Communities
The Innovative Rural Communities project has been undertaken by a collaborative led by the University of Guelph along with three independent consultants specializing in rural development: M.E. Robertson & Associates, Alpha Projects and C. Lang Consulting.
Northern Distinctions ...
Although the research shows many similarities in terms of the innovation process and the conditions that enable innovation to flourish across rural and northern communities, the unique characteristics and conditions of northern communities warrant special reference.
Why rural innovation?
Many rural and northern communities today are surviving — not thriving. Yet rural innovators are creating new opportunities and bringing a sense of renewal to their communities and regions. Innovation is alive and well in rural Ontario!
Rurality is key — not a barrier — to these innovations. Innovation is one way to harness rural assets and put them on the path to progressive change. Innovators and their ingenuity have always been important in northern and rural communities. Nurturing this spirit in your communities is what Innovation Pathways is all about.
“Innovation responds to needs and establishes what you do. There is a healthy discontent with the way things are, and innovation addresses this discontent.”
- Rural Innovator
What is innovation?
When you work with these tools, think about innovation in its broadest sense. Innovation is about new products, processes and markets. It’s also about change.
Innovation for what?
Innovation can be for commercial purposes — a new product, service or market. For instance, value-added production of wood or agricultural products is an innovation for commercial purposes.
Innovation can be for community development. For instance, a community might lobby for new broadband services. Or it might start planning how to combine efforts for a new economic or cultural activity.
Innovation can be for environmental or natural resource management. For instance, a community might design new recycling services or form a wind energy co-operative.
Innovation can be for public program or policy. For instance, a community might develop a new land use policy. Or it might create a youth mentorship program.
Looking at your community through the ‘innovation lens’
When you look for innovation in your community, be sure to look for projects that are having different kinds of impacts. You may find creative projects that benefit individuals, organizations or businesses. Innovators in these cases are often overlooked. Think about the potential these projects have for benefiting more people in your community. Try to include everyone whose ‘know-how’ could be an asset in your innovation planning.
And try to include local innovators to look at things through the ‘community lens’. Are they planning a project that might create work? Have they linked up with local training and employment services?
Finally, remember to look at innovations that reach beyond your local community. These may bring in new wealth by making the most of both regional and local assets. Rural innovators need to think globally as well as locally — both to find good ideas and to market their innovations.
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