Grandmother receives Ontario award for taking care of the water

UOI OFFICES (Nipissing FN) February 25, 2016 – Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee says that grandmother water walker Josephine Mandamin deserves the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation.

“Elder Josephine Mandamin has walked the shorelines of five Great Lakes as well as in all four directions of Turtle Island,” says Madahbee. “She takes care of the Lifeblood of Mother Earth – water. Josephine has been bringing awareness about pollution, laws, fracking, and the selling of the water. I congratulate her on such a great honour.”

She’s walked the equivalent of half of the earth’s circumference over the years, dedicated to carrying the copper vessel of water with her.

Mandamin has been bringing her message for years that water is very precious.

“I will go to any lengths to and direction to carry the water to the people,” Mandamin has said. “As women, we are carriers of the water. We carry life for the people. So when we carry that water, we are telling people that we will go any lengths for the water. We’ll probably even give our lives for the water if we have to. We may at some point have to die for the water, and we don’t want that.”

From Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Mandamin is one of seven recipients of the award and will be at tomorrow’s ceremony at Queen’s Park.

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 60,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.


For more information contact:
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone : 1-877-702-5200 ext. 2290
Email :
Anishinabek Nation Website
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