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Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Water Walker, written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson. Second Story Press, 2017. $16.95 ages 6 and up

"A year later, over by the Atlantic Ocean, a niichii-kew had a bawaajgan, which she shared with Nokomis as soon as she woke up. Nokomis shared the bawaajgan with all the people she had met during her previous walks. Word spread across Turtle Island. Everyone began to prepare." 

Marches are proving to have an impact in our society by bringing awareness to a number of concerning and crucial world issues. I am sure that some of the people who plan and take part in such protests often feel powerless. But, they are making their thoughts known.

Today is World Water Day, and it seems an appropriate time to offer up this fascinating story of the Water Walkers, led by Nokomis. Nokomis awakens each morning to sing a song of respect to 'every living thing on Earth.' Distressed when warned by an elder that water is precious, will become very expensive, and must be protected, Nokomis takes up the cause.

"She looked around.
She saw how people
were disrespecting
the water, wasting it,
making it unfit for life."

A dream sets a plan in motion. Gathering friends, Nokomis (Josephine Mandamin) leads the Mother Earth Water Walkers around all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Every spring for seven years, the Walkers bring attention to the plight of water in North America. It is quite the remarkable feat, and a powerful protest.

When little is done to support these women walkers and to protect our precious water resources, word is spread throughout Turtle Island (North America).  Their protest goes farther afield in an attempt to have all people see the need for protecting water from waste and pollution. Nokomis continues to walk, always singing for the water ... and for "trees, birds, plants, insects, animals, your family, and all of your grandchildren's grandchildren yet to come.'

"During her 2015 walk alone, she put almost 4,500, 000 footsteps on her sneakers!"

That is dedication, and worthy of much respect. This book is a lovely tribute to her dedication to a cause of great importance.

A list of Ojibwe words and their pronunciation is found following the text, as well an author's note with further information about Nokomis, and her address. She would love to hear about what children are doing to protect our water.

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