Welcome to my first blog post for the Lake Winnipeg Water Walk 2014 (LWWW2014). I am the dreamer, organizer, and lead walker of LWWW2014. You might be wondering what that first word means, Booshoo. Booshoo is an Ojibway/Anishinabe word used to greet people. You would use it much the same way that you would use hello. So Booshoo!I wanted to share a little bit of information about myself so that you, as supporters of the LWWW2014, can understand and gain insight into why I have organized this walk.I am an Anishnabe woman from Southern Manitoba. My Anishnabe name is Animkiiquay (Thunder Woman), and I am a member of the Makwa clan as well as a 4th Degree Midewiwin of the 3 Fires Midewiwin Lodge. It is this strong connection to the Midewiwin teachings as well being a proud wife, mother, sister, aunt, and grandmother that drove me to do something about the poor state of Lake Winnipeg.
The 3 Fires Midewiwin Lodge is committed to teaching the Anishinabe people about our story and history through traditional teachings, ceremonies, and songs. These teachings help us live a life based on the 7 sacred laws – truth, honesty, respect, love, wisdom, humility and courage. Over the years, the 3 Fires Grand Chief, Bawdwaywidun (Edward Benton Banaise), has shared his vast knowledge regarding the Midewiwin. This has included a water bundle, teachings about the water, that has been passed on through generations of women in his family. He shared these teachings and songs with the women of the 3 Fires Lodge, preparing us for the time when he would transfer the water bundle to Anishinabequay (women). In order to ensure that this water bundle is never lost or forgotten, the 3 Fires Lodge established a society of women to entrust this water bundle to. This society consists of generational lines- grandmothers, mothers and daughters who have promised to ensure that everyone understand the importance of water and to stand up and protect the waters and life of Creation.
I am a proud to say that I am a member of this society and that I am committed to defending the waters of this land, which is the life blood of our Mother, the Earth.