Grand River Water Walk 2021

Water Walks are based on Anishnaabe ceremonial water teachings and protocols handed to us from Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, the first water walker. The walk honours all Nibi (water), and we speak, sing, and pray to her spirit. We will offer petitions for that water, that it become clean once more for future generations and our ancestors. This ceremony involves carrying an eagle staff and copper pail filled with water, and carrying both from the source to the mouth. During this time, the water is always in motion. The walkers carry asemaa/tobacco to offer to the pail and staff when they receive these sacred items, and to any flowing stream or river we cross. Water walks are a time to pray and sing to the spirit of the water; with the hope she becomes clean and continuously flows. The protocols we follow show our respect for our first water walker, our ancestors, Mother Earth, and ourselves.

Mary Anne Caibaiosai leads the All Nations Grand River Water Walk. She is Anishinaabe Kwe from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and now lives in Peterborough. She is joined by fellow core walkers and invites others to join in this ceremony. Mary Anne was inspired to lead the All Nations Grand River Water Walk after walking with Josephine Mandamin in 2017. "I was amazed how transformative that walk was. It totally changed my whole perspective about water and how important it is," she said and wanted other people to feel that. Mary Anne is inspired by Josephine, who mentored and guided her to complete the four year Water Walk commitment. This is the fourth of four walks Mary Anne will lead. We ask that you spread the word to your family and friends to join us as we honour our local majestic grand river.

Our late Grandmother, Josephine Mandamin, passed into the spirit world February 22nd, 2019. She left us with beautiful Water Walk teachings. With a copper pail of water in one hand and her eagle staff in another, she marked an extraordinary feat to bring recognition of the importance of water around the world. Josephine walked around all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to speak, sing, and to pray to the water. Her message was that water is a human right and needs to be protected. Josephine’s words will forever stay with us and guide us to continue her work.

“Water is alive. It can hear. Water can sense what we are saying. It can really, really speak to us. Some songs come to us through the water. We have to understand that water is very precious.” 

The 2021 Grand River Water Walk is  September 13-23(or so), 2021, starting near Dundalk, ON, to Port Maitland, and then returning to end near Dundalk, Ontario. 

Funds raised here are used for items such as:

-Feast food, snacks and water

-Gas, Accommodations, First aid kit

-Ceremonial items (tobacco, sage, blankets, ribbon skirts, etc)

More information is available at:


Liz Hietkamp
Duncan, BC

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