2013 – Androscoggin River

July 8, 2013 – July 22, 2013
From the Source to the Sea…
Umbagog Lake in Errol, NH to Merrymeeting Bay in Bath, Maine
The theme for the Water is Life ~ Androscoggin River Walk is the same theme of all the walks, since 2003: “Ni guh Izhi chigay Nibi onji.” (“I will do it for the water.”) Josephine Mandamin decided to walk, and others joined her and others are inspired by her to walk for water. Carole Blodgett is one of those that are inspired and being called to walk the water.

Carole says “Walking the Water is a healing prayer for the third largest river in Maine and the most polluted. We will start July 8 at Wombogog ~ the white water lake ~ Umbagog Lake ~ near Errol, NH. We will paddle out onto the lake and gather the clear, clean waters here at the headwaters of the river and we will walk carrying the water every step of the way, singing and praying for Nibi, the Sacred Water of All Life. Our ancestors cut these waters in their birch bark canoes from source to the sea with many portage trails alone the way! As we travel down the river we will drop 1,500 vertical feet ~ this drop creates many beautiful waterfalls and white river rapids. There are now many paper mills and eight dams along the river, obstructing the natural flow. Each dam creates a catch-basin for pollutants and organic waste from the mills and communities upstream, so the pollution builds up as we go down the river. Currently Gulf Island Pond is the most polluted section of the river!

You do not have to belong to a Tribal Nation for this to affect you ~ we were all born of the water ~ all our children where born of the water and all our grandchildren will be born of the water ~ WHAT KIND OF WATER will they spend those first 9 months in???

What can I do to help?

SHOW UP ~ any time ~ any day ~ any where along the river. We need men to carry the Eagle Staff and tend fire. Women come and Carry the Water, help with cooking. We will have to move camp three times as we come down the river, we will need help moving the tents and kitchen while the walkers are walking. Open your home or yard to feed lunch or dinner to the walkers. Offer your yard for us to camp in so we save camping fees. Set up a watering station alone the road when we get to your town (NO BOTTLED WATER PLEASE). Donate firewood for the Sacred Fire. Plan an evening event and gather neighbors ~ you find the place and we will come and share why we are walking. Contact us and we can let you know what we need that you can offer.

If you want to help but have no time or live too far, click on the donate link ~ your funds will pay for camp sites, food, firewood and gas for the support car that will follow the walkers and carry elders who want to join but can not walk the whole way.

(Copied, with gratitude and respect, from Brian Raven Redbone’s original Water Is Life Walk site.)

Credit: Brian Raven Redbone