Water has always had an important place in the lives of the Ojibway. Our survival depends on water. I (Ayasha) have a deep spiritual responsibility to protect the purity of water. We, Ojibway people, have a history of identifying the relevance of water and fulfilling our obligation to both protect the water source and raise awareness about water issues.
When I had lived in California for almost 7 years, I began to learn of the extreme threat to our water drinking systems. Going through cases of water weekly as if it was a normal way of living began wearing on me spiritually, mentally, and physically more than a traditional Ojibwe could have imagined. Unable to drink the water because it had been polluted; not consuming freshwater fish because of all the lakes, streams, and creeks being contaminated; and policed by the government for water usage at your own home is not what an Ojibwe defines as a proper way of life.
Stop poisoning the lands, waters, and air. Earth is a gift our ancestors passed down to us and that we now share with you. There are two paths on this earth we can take. One path will lead to peace, love, and brotherhood. The other will lead to the mass destruction of the earth. The ultimate destruction of this earth will be a result of the lack of human race to care for the planet we live on.
Thriving today in our lodges and ceremonies our spirit beliefs ring out through our ancestors. Although our ancestors' spiritual practices were banned by Indian agents, priests, and missionaries, and Christianity was forced upon the people, as a Nation those hardships of our ancestors strengthened us to be the voice for the younger generations. A strong prayer we all ring out while in ceremony and lodges are for our waters to be protected and respected by all mankind.
Water protectors are activists, organizers and cultural workers fixated on the protection of the world's water and water systems. I (Ayasha) am one of those with a goal this upcoming 2020 to do my part in sending the message to others about the significance of the water crisis with an expectation for others to stand by my side in the fight for respecting our waters. The concept of protecting the water as a sacred duty is much older in which is culturally deep-rooted in Native Americans like myself.
Autumn Peltier is an Anishinaabe-kwe and a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation and an internationally-recognized advocate for clean water. She is a water protector and has been called a "water warrior". Autumn Peltier who is 15 years old from Canada is a leading inspiration as a water protector with a phenomenal example of deep-rooted efforts to preserve what the Creator has gifted us. Native people's cries for social justice and self-determination ring out through the lands, water, and air you and I breathe.
In our Anishinaabe prophecies, this is called the time of the Seventh Fire. This is a time when our people will have two roads ahead of us - one miikina, or path, which is well-worn - but scorched - and another path which is green. It will be our choice upon which path to embark. That is where we are.
Ojibwe communities have a strong history of political and social activism. Honor the Earth is a great way for volunteering to be a water protector.
Honor the Earth uses indigenous wisdom, music, art, and the media to raise awareness and support for Indigenous Environmental Issues. We leverage this awareness and support to develop financial and political capital for Indigenous struggles for land and life.
Ojibwe communities have a strong history of political and social activism. Honor the Earth is a great way for volunteering to be a water protector. Click below on Volunteer to learn how you can help.