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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Issue of Water:

By: Christine McFarlane

Water is an integral life source. It is sacred when you look at it from a First Nations perspective. It is a critical element to life. Every living being relies on water for life-insects, fish, birds, wildlife and plant life and we in return rely on them for our survival.
What will we do when our water supply is depleted, and too polluted for us to use? Every day usage of water in many situations is being taken for granted and in doing so we are jeopardizing the future of our waters for future generations. If the disregard for the water supply continues, we can expect our water to become depleted and unfit for human consumption. This demands urgency for raising awareness for the conservation of this life source.
Aboriginal peoples in Ontario are aware of the growing rise of our polluted waters. We as aboriginal peoples are taught that the water is sacred and replenishes the very air we breathe. Have you ever considered how you look at water? How do you feel about water? 
I went to a Native Youth conference on January 14-15, 2012 where I heard Elder Josephine Mandamin(an Anishnaabe Grandmother who has been responsible for several water walks)  speak about how integral water is. She mentioned that "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 an integral issue, and its something that everyone needs to pay attention to. I have decided that my next two posts will focus on the issue of water. I will review the book "Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights" written by Merrell-Ann S. Phare and review a HotDocs documentary titled "Water on the Table" which features water warrior Maude Barlow and directed by Liz Marshall.
The "Water on the Table" documentary asks the question "Is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola? Or is water a human right like air?" 

Please consider the above two questions and what they mean to you and in the next two weeks, I will be following this post up with the two reviews I have mentioned.

(For information on Anishnaabe Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and her role in the walk for water and its survival please visit

1 comment:

Kristeen said...

Hi Christine!

Thank you for the great blog post. I wanted to let you know about a great initiative taking place in Peterborough Ontario (not too far away from TO!) lead by a collective of incredibly devoted people, wanting to take action for the water. It is the Sacred Water Circle Gathering.

Take a look at the website, and please get in touch if you have any questions!

Kristeen McTavish
TRACKS Youth Program Director