Water Walk will walk in prayer along the route of Line 3.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MORE INFO:

SHARON DAY,  smarieday@aol.com, 651-325-8077

EMILY JARRETT HUGHES, nibiwalk@gmail.com, 612-314-5413

Minneapolis, MN                                July 14, 2021 

An indigenous-led Nibi (Water) Walk will begin on July 18, 2021 following the path of the proposed Line 3 Enbridge pipeline. Starting in Superior, Wisconsin water protectors will walk along the proposed route of the pipeline, ending at the North Dakota border on July 29, 2021. 

The walk begins with a blessing ceremony at Lake Superior and water from Gichi-gami (the Ojibwe word for Lake Superior) will be carried by walkers 359 miles in a ceremonial copper vessel. Organizer, elder and water protector, Sharon Day explains, “at every water crossing we will gather water and pray with it. We are walking to pray for the water along the proposed route of Line 3. We are not a protest. Our only audience is the water.” 

Unlike past Nibi Walks, this walk is planned for women-identified individuals. In Indigenous tradition women are the protectors of water. Women from all cultures are welcome to walk in solidarity for a mile or for many days.

Line 3 is a tar sands pipeline, currently under construction in northern Minnesota, with a carbon equivalent of 50 coal-fired power plants. The proposed pipeline violates treaty rights and  risks over 200 bodies of water with the threat of an oil spill.

The Canadian-owned pipeline will have the capacity to carry nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day and is operated by Enbridge Energy, a multinational corporation responsible for the largest US inland oil spill.  Nibi Walkers will trace the proposed pipeline route which cuts through untouched wetlands and the treaty territories of Anishinaabe people, through the Mississippi headwaters, and to the shores of Lake Superior.

“With every step we take we’re sending our prayers, our thoughts, to the rivers and lakes of this land,” said Day, a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. 

Nibi means “water” in the Anishinaabe language. In Anishinaabe teachings it was promised that the water would always flow down to us as long as we remembered to sing and make offerings to the water. Nibi Walkers believe these songs and offerings are crucial now, when the health of our freshwater is at great risk from mining, fracking and pollution from oil pipelines such as the Enbridge Line 3. 

Throughout their walk participants will pray and sing, sun-up to sun-down, to heal and honor the water. “We want the Walk to be a prayer,” says Sharon Day. “Every step we take we will be praying for and thinking of the water.  The water has given us life and now we will support the water. We’re sending a message to the world that we wish for an end to the violence perpetrated on our land, water and the earth’s climate.”

To learn more about the Line 3 Nibi Walk visit  www.nibiwalk.org. Nibi Walks is a program of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force and supported by generous donations. Sharon Day is available for interviews. Please contact her directly at the number listed above.

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 Photos available on request.

Tree of Peace, Tree of Life, Tree for the Future

Raising the Tree of Peace, Tree of Life, Tree for the Future

Sunday, October 11, 9:00 a.m. – noon at the Minnesota State Capitol Steps

Over the last few months, many people have been responded to Sharon Day’s invitation to send their messages to future generations. From a place of deep love, the purest truth, and with hope, people created leaves with their messages to be part of the Tree of Peace, Tree of Life, Tree for the Future. People from all over Turtle Island contributed to this large scale sculpture.

We will raise the tree at the Minnesota State Capitol with the wish that our leaders enact policies that reflect our prayers that everyone be able to live a good life.

9:00: Raising the tree and applying the leaves
10:00 -10:30: Time for making leaves or writing on leaves that are blank.
10:30: Program featuring an exciting line-up of speakers, poets, singers, and round dance.

  • Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan
  • Meena Natarajan and Dipankar Mukherjee, Pangea World Theater
  • Sharon Day
  • One Voice Mixed Chorus
  • Rep Mary Kunesh-Podein
  • Barb Tilsen
  • Tom LeBlanc and Ben Weaver
  • Ikidowin Youth Theater Ensemble
  • Senator Patricia Torres Ray
  • Oshki Gishiik Women Singers
  • Sara Thomsen


11:30: Lowering the tree

The Invitation Behind the Tree of Peace, Tree of Life, Tree for the Future

If you had the opportunity to create a message for future generations, one crafted from a place of deep love, the purist truth, and instilled with hope, what might that message be?

Following the recent uprising here in Minneapolis and around the nation, many elders and others with compromised immune systems, felt powerless as we watched our youth march in the streets as they sought to bring justice for George Floyd and so many others killed by police. Our youth have brought us to this brink of a dramatic sea change, one many of us have worked toward our entire lives.  We are so close and yet, we can already see the entrenchment and back sliding by our elected officials at the local and federal levels. Let’s seize this opportunity; we can and must help to bring about social justice.

I suggest we create a tree of peace, a tree of life, a tree for the future.

A miniature model of our tree.

We will begin by creating the leaves or needles, which symbolizes the life giving oxygen for our future generations. This message describes our wishes for them, for our mother earth, for the water, air, plants and animals.  We will do this from a deep place of love. You can stitch, paint, or ink your message on your leaf – a panel no larger than 8 x 8 inches. Keep in mind the leaf will be subjected to the elements. We will attach them to a tree. This tree will be harvested from woods here in Minnesota. I will prepare it to be re-assembled with branches created from driftwood along the shores of Lake Superior. We will tie your message to these branches. 

We will present these messages to the people. We will do this because we love our children, we wish for our children’s children to live a life where they can smell the flowers, put their feet into clean rivers, breathe air that is life giving, and live each day without fear of the police, pandemics, and government’s run amuck. 

Listen to Sharon Day guide you through a meditation to prepare you for making your leaf.

Send your panel to me at 1335 E 23rd St., Mpls, MN 55404 by September 15th, 2020. I invite whomever is willing and able to join me in Washington DC on October 1-2, perhaps at Lafayette Park, to assemble the tree with your messages. Following this, we will present this tree of peace, tree of life, tree of the future to the Piscataway People, the first people of the area, entrusting it to them; a marker for this time in history holding our petitions for the future.

An example of two of our first contributions.

Then we get out the Vote!

WE hold our elected officials at the city, county, state and federal levels accountable to systematically reforming all the systems which oppress Indigenous, Black, LatinX, Asian and Pacific Islanders.   

Please join me. 

Migwetch

Sharon M. Day, Ojibwe
1335 E 23rd St
Minneapolis, MN  55404
smarieday@aol.com
651-325-8077

Sharon M. Day, Ojibwe is enrolled in the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. She is a second degree M’dewin. She has served as the Executive Director of Indigenous Peoples Task Force since 1990. Ms. Day is also a grandmother, artist, musician, and writer. In 1998, the M’dewin were called to help the Mendota Dakota people save a spring that is sacred to the Dakota. The road was built 200 feet from the spring but the spring still flows. In 2003, when Grandmother Josephine Mandamin walked Lake Superior, Sharon walked two days on the eastern shore near Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario. Since then, she has led 20 water walks, leading several each year.

Red River Water Walk Honors Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MORE INFO:
SHARON DAY,  smarieday@aol.com, 651-325-8077
EMILY JARRETT HUGHES, nibiwalk@gmail.com, 612-314-5413

(Minneapolis, MN, August 3, 2019) Indigenous-led Red River Nibi (Water) Walk began August 1, 2019. The walk began at the headwaters of the river near Wahpeton, North Dakota. Over an estimated 12 days walkers will carry a ceremonial copper vessel of water 550 miles to the Chalet Beach at Lake Winnipeg, Canada.

“Every step we take we’re sending our prayers, our thoughts to the river,” said Day, a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. While she walks, Day also prayer for the 134 names written on ribbons on her staff, each one representing an Indigenous woman found dead in the Red River over the course of the past few decades.

“We need to walk the Red River because of all the pollution ending up in Lake Winnipeg,” Day said. “But also because of all the bodies found in it.”

Nibi means water in the Anishinaabe language. In Anishinaabe teachings it was promised that the water would always flow down to us as long as we remembered to sing and make offerings to the water.

The Nibi Walkers believe these songs and offerings are crucial now, when the health of our freshwater is at great risk. They invite people from all walks of life to join them – in person or in spirit – on this sacred mission.

Throughout their walk participants will pray and sing, sun-up to sun-down, to heal and honor the River. Though steeped in Anishinaabe ritual and beliefs, people of all faiths are welcome to walk for an hour, a day, or more.

“We want the Walk to be a prayer,” says Sharon Day, the leader of the Wisconsin River walk. “Every step we take we will be praying for and thinking of the water.  The water has given us life and now we will support the water.”

Nicole Christian is a 23 year-old student from Minneapolis who wanted to figure out a way to honor the 134 women that have been gathered by the Sovereign Bodies Institute. She cut up red T-shirts, wrote the names of those identified on individual pieces, and tied them to the staff.

“And we’re sending a message to the world that we wish for peace and an end to violence,” said Sharon Day. “If we can treat our water with gratitude, respect and love, then maybe we can treat each other that way.”

To learn more about the Red River Nibi Walk visit  www.nibiwalk.org. Nibi Walks is a program of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force and supported by generous donations. Sharon Day is available for interviews. Please contact her directly at the number listed above.

 

# # #

 

Photos available on request.

Water Walker Gathering and House Concert

Sunday JANUARY 27, 2019 5 – 9 PM

All Nations Indian Church 1515 E 23rd St, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404

 

Come reconnect and plan for how you will get involved this year. This relaxed evening will include

  • House concert by Sara Thomsen (please bring donations for the music),
  • Potluck dinner,
  • Learning the water songs we sing every Sunday morning,
  • Looking ahead to the planned walks for the year, and
  • An auction of water themed sculptural posts from the Phalen Creek Water Walk.

 

Please bring your voice, a potluck dish, donations for the music and Nibi Walk, and your love for the water.

 

We are striving to make all Nibi Walk activities ZERO WASTE – please bring your own plate, forks, napkins and cups.

 

Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/215397736073048/

WALKERS WILL WALK ENTIRE LENGTH OF WISCONSIN RIVER IN SUPPORT OF CLEAN WATER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MORE INFO:
SHARON DAY,  smarieday@aol.com, 651-325-8077
EMILY JARRETT HUGHES, nibiwalk@gmail.com, 612-314-5413

(Minneapolis, MN, July 13, 2018) Indigenous-led Wisconsin River Nibi (Water) Walk will begin August 4, 2018. The walk begins at the headwater of the river near Lac Vieux Desert near the Wisconsin/Michigan border. Over an estimated 14 days walkers will carry a ceremonial copper vessel of water 379 miles to the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin river was one of the main water routes for tribes. It begins near Watersmeet on the Lac Vieux Desert reservation. One trail went to Lake Michigan, one to Lake Superior and the trail along the Wisconsin River meets the Mississippi. Walkers will be following the southern trail route along the Wisconsin River following the path of the ancestors.

Despite growing environmental awareness the challenges facing our fresh water continue to mount. Ongoing activism is crucial however we must also embark on a spiritual journey – one that will lead us to honor the water and embrace that all things are connected: that together with our lakes, streams and rivers, we will thrive or perish.

Water is life: the Nibi Walkers invite all to journey with them.

Nibi means water in the Anishinaabe language. In Anishinaabe teachings it was promised that the water would always flow down to us as long as we remembered to sing and make offerings to the water.

The Nibi Walkers believe these songs and offerings are crucial now, when the health of our freshwater is at great risk. They invite people from all walks of life to join them – in person or in spirit – on this sacred mission.

Throughout their walk participants will pray and sing, sun-up to sun-down, to heal and honor the River. Though steeped in Anishinaabe ritual and beliefs, people of all faiths are welcome to walk for an hour, a day, or more.

“We want the Walk to be a prayer,” says Sharon Day, the leader of the Wisconsin River walk. “Every step we take we will be praying for and thinking of the water.  The water has given us life and now we will support the water.”

To learn more about the Wisconsin River Nibi Walk visit  www.nibiwalk.org. Nibi Walks is supported by the Indigenous Peoples Task Force and by generous donations. Anishinaabe elder Sharon Day, Executive Director of the Indigenous People’s Task Force, will lead the Wisconsin River Nibi Walk. She is available for interviews. Please contact her directly at the number listed above.

# # #

Photo of Sharon Day with Eagle Staff by Camille J. Gage; high resolution file available on request.

An Experiential Introduction to Water Walking

Sunday July 22, 2018 9 -11 a.m.

Come learn about water walks and the many ways you can support them. Water walks honor the rivers and all water and speak to the water spirits so that there will be healthy rivers, lakes and oceans for our ancestors in the generations to come.

We will begin near the boat launch at the North Gate to Hidden Falls Park in Saint Paul. Sharon Day will share a history of the water walks. Everyone is invited to participate in a water ceremony in which each person will collect water and carry it to the picnic grounds at the South entrance to the park (roughly one mile). We will then have a ceremony to return the water to the river. This experience will give you a taste of what happens on a water walk. Find out how you can support the upcoming Wisconsin River Water Walk beginning August 4.

Please bring your own vessel for carrying river water. Because we will be in ceremony women are asked to wear long skirts. Learn more about water walk protocols. Rides back to the North Gate are available for those who need them.

Please consider making a donation in support of the upcoming walk at Give MN: https://givemn.org/fundraiser/nibi-walk58d9325c6c7e3

Chi Migwetch!

Chippewa River Waterwalk

April 20-25

Walk begins on April 20 at New Post, Wisconsin at the convergence of the East and West Chippewa Rivers and ends at Wabasha, Minnesota. This walk is in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire to commemorate Aldo Leopold’s work.

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