Updated: Mar 27
March 22nd marks this year's World Water Day and we wanted to share a few key program updates.
Water Justice Manifesto
Just this week the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada signed onto a new Water Justice Manifesto and joined over 400 other global organizations working in solidarity. Signed by Sr. Sue Wilson from the Federation's Office of Systemic Justice, we join other Canadian groups such as: the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Blue Schools Network, Eau Secours, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Sisters of Mercy, and the Council of Canadians. These lists are growing day by day. From the Manifesto preamble:
In the run-up to the March 2023 UN Water Conference, Water Justice Movements around the world have come together to amplify the voices of the unheard and call on all those present at the conference in New York to address the issues we see as fundamental to achieving water justice for all.
The 9-point statement prioritizes the human right to water, sustainable management, Indigenous rights and knowledge systems, the needs of rural people, meaningful participation in decision-making, international cooperation, and public ownership. Read and share the full Water Justice Manifesto.
World Water Day event
We hosted an online event on March 27th featuring two special guests who span the local and global levels. Emma Harmos will talk about making her high school in London Ontario a Blue Community and Sr. Barbara Bozak will report back from her recent participation at the United Nations Water Conference in New York City. Watch the recording below.
Poster and Teacher Kit
Our BIG news is a NEW version of our poster One River, Two Futures: reflections on water that is now ready to be mailed out. This free, colourful and large (24 x 36 inches) poster was created for education, reflection, and action on our relationship to water. For World Water Day, we have mailed out over 180 posters to 19 locations in Ontario.
The poster features new text and a companion teacher kit. Some of the new text reads:
When we respect water as the source of life, this invites our acts of gratitude and reciprocity.
When we realize that we are only one part of a much grander watershed, our actions have the power to regenerate the living earth. The waters do not ‘belong’ to us, we belong to the waters.
When we protect water for all creation and for generations to come, we affirm the human right to water and our responsibilities to this sacred gift.
When we strive for the common good, we recognize that everything we do impacts water. Our shared systems that provide energy, food, transportation, recreation, manufacturing, and housing all need to be aligned with protecting water.
Educators can download a small version of this poster and also order it for free on Our Resources page -- they can also download a new poster companion kit.
The subject of water touches upon all the disciplines and so this kit is designed to offer the
educator the dual benefits of context and classroom supports. This kit offers a vision of
water protection (water quality), water kinship (our shared and sacred connections), and
water justice (inequalities to water and decision making).
This guide zooms into the poster's six thematic parts and is followed by an extended resource section making further ties to grades, subjects, and school locations. Designed for both elementary and secondary schools, this guide gives teachers a summary of the issues while grounded in current research and critical thinking.
This is a digital resource with many embedded links. Download this 9 page resource.
This year's World Water Day theme is ACCELERATING CHANGE when we learn about and act upon the world's water crisis.
The story of the hummingbird doing all it can to put out a fire is this year's image of being the change we want to see in the world.
What can you do this year to show your concern and gratitude for the waters that feed you and your neighbours?
Let us know in the comments section below how you are accelerating change.
Waves of Change Lecture
In addition to our event on March 27th, our new poster, and our teacher kit, we wanted to leave you motivated with this lecture from water rights activist Maude Barlow. Maude's talk The Waves of Change: Intergenerational Water Justice was hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto on October 1st, 2022 at the University of St. Michael's College (University of Toronto).
Water Has Memory
A new 13 minute video that beautifully captures the voice and determination of Casey Camp-Horinek, the Environmental Ambassador for the Ponca Nation.
Surrounded by oil and gas infrastructure that is polluting the air, waters, and bodies of her people, Casey bears witness to the ecocide, while honouring the sacred work that is needed when resisting and more importantly, remembering. Truly, a remarkable spirit.