Third annual Women’s Water Walk holds greater significance after two big oil spills this summerPublished 11:36pm Wednesday, August 18, 2010
A group of Pokagon Band women will participate in the third annual sunrise ceremony and women’s water walk Friday, Sept. 3.
Protecting the water is a traditional responsibility for women in Native American cultures, but the event will take on even greater significance following the oil disasters in the Kalamazoo River and the Gulf of Mexico this year.
“Without water, there is no life. And just like women generations before us, we take the conservation and protection of our waters very seriously,” said Majel DeMarsh, a Pokagon tribal elder and organizer of the women’s water walk.
The group will hold a sunrise ceremony at the Band’s Gage Street property in Dowagiac at 7 a.m. Sept. 3.
Following the ceremony, women and their supporters will walk 15 miles from there to the tribal campus at Rodgers Lake.
This act of walking honors and prays for the waters of the Pokagon Band homelands and passes on these teachings to others.
The women’s water walk was born in 2008 after a group of native elders came through southwest Michigan during a walk around the perimeter of Lake Michigan.
This group walks around a Great Lake each spring to raise awareness about the toll pollution is taking on the water native to this region.
These elders asked the Pokagon Band women to carry this message and to organize their own water walk.