Action Alert! Defend the Right to Water for People and Nature! Join the Mother Earth Water Walk!

DEFEND THE RIGHT TO WATER FOR PEOPLE AND NATURE!

JOIN THE MOTHER EARTH WATER WALK ACROSS MAINE

UNITE WITH FIRST NATION BROTHERS AND SISTERS

What’s happening:

Native peoples representing the five tribes of the Wabanaki Nation of Maine and Canada will gather on May 7 at a sacred site in Machiasport to begin a month long walk to Wisconsin where they will meet walkers from the North, South and West. The purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of clean water to all life.

The Mother Earth Water Walk began in 2003, when grandmothers walked around Lake Superior, according to the project’s website http://www.motherearthwaterwalk.com/ The walkers said:  “We are doing this walk on our own beliefs within our own aboriginal culture and values of the importance of our waters is very precious and sacred to our being, as it is one of the basic elements needed for all life to exist.”  Our walk is “a prayer for the water, for Mother Earth, for the animals, the birds, the insects, the trees and for us, all two leggeds. Together the walks were one prayer for life.”

This is the first year that water will be carried from the four corners of North America.

In her interview with the Bangor Daily News, Madeleine Hunter, the Eastern Walk coordinator and a member of the Wabanaki Nation in St. Stephen said, “This is so important.  Whatever we do to the water will impact the children of future generations. People need to start looking at how we live and the importance of clean water.”

Defending Water for Life in Maine is deeply supportive of this grassroots action to raise awareness on water issues in Maine, across the country, and worldwide. Large corporations like Nestle are mining and selling bottled water for profit, at the expense of community rights. Large corporations, including large agribusiness in Maine, are polluting water for profit, while effected community members often feel powerless to stop them.

But we the people do have power, and we have to take that power back!  At Defending Water for Life in Maine we believe that community members and nature have rights to clean, safe water. Participating in this walk is a great way to support each other, our communities, and Mother Earth!

How to participate:

1) Join the walk!:

In Machias, the Beehive Collective is opening its Grange Hall on Elm Street and home on Court Street beginning May 5 as staging areas for walkers who will be joining the trek.

Walkers from the east will leave Machias on Saturday, May 7.  There will be a special tribal ceremony at Picture Rock in Machiasport and native walkers will progress from there down Route 1 to Bad Little Falls in Machias, where a public ceremony to begin the eastern walk will be held. The walkers should reach the falls between 12:00 p.m. and 1 p.m. This is a great place to join, but you can join at any point along the route!

Once the ceremony has been completed at Bad Little Falls, the group will walk to Milbridge, where walkers will rest for the night. The Hispanic community at Mano en Mano in Milbridge will welcome them. The group’s arrival will coincide with Mano en Mano’s Mother’s Day Fiesta.

The walkers will continue on May 8 to Bangor, and then will proceed over the next week on Route 2 to Skowhegan and on to Quebec.

All people are welcome to join the walk.  Women who want to carry the water are asked to please wear a skirt. A van will accompany the group.

For more information on walking contact:

Charlene Francis 827-5035, Maria Girourd 817-7471, or Defending Water for Life in Maine organizer, Chris Buchanan 357-1443

2)  Make signs to support walkers!

People along Routes 1 and 2 can assist the walkers by placing signs along the way asking trucks and other traffic to slow down and take care when near the walkers.  Signs can also reinforce the message of the walk:  Defending Water for People and Nature.

3)  Be a rest stop!

Organizers are still seeking rest stops for the walkers along Routes 1 and 2. Anyone wishing to open their doors to the walkers or provide a place to rest may contact Kehben Grier at 669-4117 at kehbenbee@gmail.com or Chris Buchanan at 357-1443.

4)  Attend the Fundraising Potluck Supper!

There will also be a Potluck Supper Honoring Mother Earth on Sunday May 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm at the Penobscot Nation Community Building, 12 Wabanaki Way, Indian Island (see directions below).  Suggested donations are $3.00 for Elders, $5.00 for others, and $10.00 for a family.  If able, please bring a potluck dish to share, and in an effort to reduce waste, please bring your own plate/bowl and eating utensils if you are able. Raffle tickets will be sold at the event for chances to win beautiful native art work donated to support the cause.

Directions to the Community Building, 12 Wabanaki Way:

Turn right onto Down Street from Main Street in Old Town;

Turn right onto Bridge Street from Down Street;

Continue on Bridge Street, which will turn into Wabanaki Way (may be seen on map as River Rd)

NOTE: ABSOLUTELY NO BOTTLED WATER , please!

5)  Track Walkers LIVE from your Home Computer, Educate Yourself, and Post your Support on Facebook!

You can Follow the Path step-by-step by going to this website:  http://emptyglassforwater.ca/map/ Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue words, “Click here to see where they are right now.”

To Post your Support on Facebook visit the website: http://www.motherearthwaterwalk.com/ and click on “follow us.”

For more great links visit: http://www.motherearthwaterwalk.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107&Itemid=117

How will it end?

All the walkers will converge June 12 in Bad River, Wisconsin. The water will then be united in Lake Superior, where the first Water Walk began.

“This journey offers us here in Maine a very rare and special opportunity to give loving and logistical support to an Aboriginally directed project that is ambitiously taking leadership on highlighting the multitude of issues facing our relationship with water.” -Kehben Grier, Beehive Collective.

Come join us!!

(Quotes and details from the April 28 article from Bangor Daily News, http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/04/28/news/downeast/members-of-maine-wabanaki-tribes-to-walk-to-wisconsin-to-promote-clean-water/?ref=latest)

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