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Every Day is World Water Day

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Across the Federation and around the world, people celebrated World Water Day Friday, March 22. Because water is a human right, shared commons and sacred gift, there are typically events every week and so here are some highlights from the 23rd and 24th of March too that this CSJ Blue Community project had a small part in.

The CSJ Federation Ecology Committee prepared the following set of slides to mark World Water Day with prayer, song, lamentations, and statements of hope. Prepared by Sr. Priscilla Soloman and Sr. Rita Gordon, everyone can now share in these thoughtful reflections and aspirations. Use the > button on the right side of the images to move the slideshow (the arrow).

A group of London Sisters (Jean Moylan, Cecilia Dronzek, Maria Van Leeuwen, Linda Parent, Mary Raphael Giedemann and Loretta Manzara) joined the Water Rally organized by the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) and included speakers, ceremony, prayers, a march, and a round dance. Amanda Doxtator and Lela George were just 2 of the many speakers and Sr. Sue Wilson (CSJ) from the Office of Systemic Justice was also invited up. Students from Saunders H.S. came out and participants are urged to wear blue, as a symbol of water’s gift of life.

Photos from AIAI:

AIAI is a Political Territorial Organization, which represents Oneida Nation of the Thames, Batchewana First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Delaware Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and the Wahta Mohawks. Paul Baines was invited to speak at their recent Water Forum, organized to share information and strategies for greater water justice. They have launched a new project on this called Our Spirits Our Laws.

Water Rally photos by Sr. Loretta Manzara:

Over in Peterborough on Saturday, March 23rd, CSJ Blue Community coordinator Paul Baines attended the annual Sacred Water Walk pancake breakfast, hosted by the Sacred Water Circle. Breakfast was served to raise friends and funds for this years Mother's Day Water Walk around Rice Lake. About 150 people came to eat, hear about the Rice Lake plans, and visit with each other and several tables featuring allied efforts. If you can join the walk for one or all the days (May 10, 11th and 12th) check the Sacred Water Circle for details.

breakfast photos by George Campana

For those in Toronto, we were honoured to part of this year's WaterDocs film festival hosted by our friends at Ecologos. We promoted our Blue Communities project in the festival's program, talked to the public at our table, and were given a few minutes to talk directly the crowd of over 150 people.

20 Sisters came out to see the Sunday, March 24th, 3pm program and watched a series of short documentaries about water including ones about: child water-play, a 3,400 mile canoe journey, harvesting whales in the Atlantic and wild seaweed in the Pacific, coral reefs, environmental disaster and human resiliency, eating fish in Lake Ontario, and portraits of cultural connections to creation. Here are some photos (thanks to Varka Kalaydzhieva) at the screening and the follow-up conversation organized by Sr. Betty Lou Knox.

Here is Sr. Janet Speth and Paul Baines giving a few opening words at the screening and introduced by Dr. Stephen Scharper.

With many other events across the Great Lakes and globally, this CSJ Blue Community project is making connections with a diverse group of water protectors. The social connections above come from years of collaboration or are the start of trusting and respectful relationships we hope to build in the months and years to come.

What are some other groups and events we should be collaborating with in 2019 and beyond? Let us know in the comments section.

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