Water 

Nibi

In 2004, I did the water ceremony for the first time with a group of women in unceded Algonquin territory. Kathleen Deschenes of Kitigan Zibi had a vision that the women needed to do ceremonies around the globe to pray for the water due to the state of our planet. She dreamt a song nibi wabo and after going to elders taught it to others. I learned from one of those Algonquin grandmothers. I have participated in water ceremonies many times. In 2020, I spoke at a course at U of Ottawa about our roles as Indigenous women and men during this time of climate collapse, to protect the lands and waters and to speak on behalf of our all our relations. I spoke of the prophecies our ancestors passed to us of these times. We know from our elders that wars over water will come, I started hearing that maybe fifteen years ago and now we are seeing it all over the world as Indigenous water protectors and other climate change activitists speak for the water in an attempt to end the destructive practises that impact on water systems such as fracking, clear cutting of rainforests, and mining. A student at U of Ottawa, Emilie who is an Inuk, asked me to speak to Indigenous youth part of the Nibi Project. We had planned to do a water ceremony and sharing circle at the Rideau River near campus in early spring 2020, but it was postponded due to the pandemic. In the end we did a session via zoom with other members of the Eagle and Condor Collective, Akawui, Edgar Hernandez and Lisa Marie Roy. Lisa and I sang Nibi Wabo to honour the waters of the watershed on which our survival is based here in Canada's capital on unceded Algonquin territory. We then each spoke about hour arts practises and our community activitsm to promote the wellbeing of the planet on which we rely for life! We try to be good ancestors by speaking the truth. I spoke about a series - the Wampum tells Us, I did after drumming at and staying for a four day Indigenous Forum on the Environment in 2007. As I listended to seers, elders and knowledge carriers, the same messages were repeated time and again, that it was the times our ancestors told us about, the time to reclaim our connections to our anestral knowledge base and time to use our voices to impact on the way humanity is misusing the planet. Msit No'kmaw, Kakina ni dodem

Artworks shared during session with the Nibi Project