The All Nations Water Walk left from the Grand River’s starting point near Dundalk on Monday morning.
The walk left Sept. 13 heading towards Lake Erie (the mouth), where there is a day of rest. Walkers then continue on the opposite side of the river, returning to Dundalk.
The route went south along County Road 8.
The walk will draw to a close here about Sept. 24, depending on conditions.
The event is held to honour the water and connect all peoples to creation, according to the website, grandriverwaterwalk.
Mary Anne Caibaiosai of the unceded Wikwemkoong territory on Manitoulin Island was inspired to walk along the Grand River. She follows the example of Anishnaabe Elder Josephine Mandamin who walked around walking around the Great Lakes.
The walk is a ceremony that draws attention to the need to protect water.
“We will honour the Grand River by praying for, singing for, and carrying her with a ceremonial pail,” Caibaiosai writes.
“We will follow our beliefs and teachings that water is life; has spirit and without her we would not be here. Our word for water is “Nibi” and we say “Nga Zichiige Nibi Onji - We do it for the water”.
Those who wish to support the walk can contribute toward expenses for food and supplies. There is a protocol on the site for walkers which emphasizes the need for quiet and prayer.
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald