The Peterborough Examiner

Walkers circle Lovesick Lake

Trekkers cover more than 40 kilometres to help honour the water of Mother Earth


On a warm morning with a light breeze and the sun promising a bright day, people gathered in Burleigh Falls to honour the water of Mother Earth. Ribbon skirts worn by the females honoured the mothering provided by Mother Earth. Sacred tobacco was provided the men. There were copper vessels that carried water around the 35kilometr­e trek.

Many in the group had been on previous water walks. One walker had been on 15 walks. She had walked around Lake Simcoe three times and once from Oshawa to Quebec. Her personal connection was through her grandfathe­r, who had been in residentia­l school, and her mother, who had been in day school.

A ceremony started the walk to honour the water. A smudge was provided to cleanse all gathered. A singer and drummer, Liz Osawamick and daughter Florence, provided a morning song to honour Creator. Water was taken from Lovesick Lake to be poured into the copper vessel carried by Dr. Elder Shirley Williams.

It was carried initially on the left arm. It was noted that, when carrying the water, one must be as humble as possible.

Curve Lake First Nation Chief Keith Knott carried the Migizi staff initially, while Williams carried the water. Williams was assisted by Miigwaans Osawamick-Sagassige.

Nodin Webb carried the stick belonging to the late Josephine Mandamin-Baa, a survivor of the residentia­l school system and cofounder of the Mother Earth Water Walkers. A banner was unfurled that advertised the group as “Those Who Walk for the Water.”

The Migizi (bald eagle) staff had an eagle at the very top. The eagle is the bird that flies the highest and is the messenger to Creator. Next on the staff were small copper vessels representa­tive of the copper water vessel that was being carried.

Droplets of water were on the fabric banner, which came next on the staff. They were in red — the lifeblood provided by Mother Earth. And they walked. They had a touchdown at Wesley United Church where they ate their lunches and then moved on.

At the end of the first day, they had their westernmos­t stop at a cottage behind the Foodland in Buckhorn. They started there the next morning.

Early Sunday morning after a ceremony of gratitude, they continued up Highway 36 and had a touchdown on Hill Drive. At that time, they had a snack, had a ceremony for the northernmo­st point on the walk and continued to their starting place where they placed the water back into Lovesick Lake, giving thanks for nibi.

There were 42 kilometres walked for nibi. The total footsteps/prayers for the water and Lovesick Lake — 57.706. Chi miigwech nibi. Chi miigwech water walkers.

Wesley dinner

If you are still thinking of that strawberry take-away dinner, the people that you want to contact are either Mike Chapman, at 705-7382827, or Brenda Mann, at 705-9339368, who will be looking after ticket sales. The cost is $15 per dinner. The dinner includes ham, salads, roll and dessert.

BCC golf

The Buckhorn Community Centre Annual Golf Tournament sponsored by Lynn Woodcroft/Royal LePage FRANK representa­tive is being held at the Quarry Golf Club in Ennismore on June 1. There are a few spots left for some single or double players, men or women. This is a best-ball tournament that includes lunch sponsored by Harvey’s, prizes, a country auction, 18 holes of golf, a cart and dinner. The cost is $175 per person. Call the BCC at 705-657-8833 for more informatio­n.

Lions yard sale

The Buckhorn Sports Pad is where you will find the yard sale with food, second-hand items and a barbecue on Sunday.

 ?? M A R LY S KERKMAN ?? This Migizi staff held by Zhaawnong Webb was carried on the stroll around Lovesick Lake.
M A R LY S KERKMAN This Migizi staff held by Zhaawnong Webb was carried on the stroll around Lovesick Lake.
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