The beginning of May I joined the Nibi “Water” Walk along the Ohio River. The walk is led by Sharon Day “Singing Wolf.” Sharon is an Ojibwe native from Northern Minnesota. The walk began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and continued 981 miles to Cairo, Illinois where the Ohio River empties into the Mississippi. The entire journey is a ceremony to heal and honor the water. I met the group just a few miles north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. While walking one person carries a vessel of water from the headwaters of the Ohio and an eagle feather.
Sharon Day has led several long distance water walks throughout the USA. After walking the Mississippi in 2013 she learned a lot about the Ohio River and decided to organize a walk along the river for the following year. The Ohio river is the largest tributary of the Mississippi and the most polluted river in the United States, making it a large contributor to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
“As Ojibwe women we are responsible to care for the water, and to pray for it. All the water we have on this earth is all we will ever have and only a small amount of it is useable for human consumption. Our values need to shift so we can begin to understand that water is sacred.”
Here is a short film that I produced about the walk. https://vimeo.com/97288672
To learn more about the Nibi Walks visit www.nibiwalk.com