For the City Times
Saturday, the little Town of Rome, Wisconsin made history. Over 100 people from all over the State of Wisconsin met to walk and pray for the protection water.
The Central Wisconsin Water Walk, sponsored by the Central Wisconsin Nature Foundation, gathered a multicultural, multigenerational group of women together to walk ten miles to draw the world’s attention to the importance of protecting water throughout the world.
Right now the aquifers in Wisconsin are diminishing, as more and more water is drawn away for personal, agricultural, and industrial use. According to the UN 2016 Water Report, water across the world is in serious danger.
To bring this to the public’s attention, women from all over Wisconsin joined Ojibwa Medicine Women, Mildred “Tinker” Schuman and Mary Ellen Baker, in a sunrise ceremony on the beach of Lake Camelot; then began a ten mile walk from the dam between Lakes Camelot & Sherwood, to the beach on Barnum Bay of Lake Petenwell. The women walked in solemn prayer and joyful song about Mother Earth and her gift of water for us all.
Halfway through the walk, the group paused at the Adams County beach on Lake Arrowhead where local girl scouts served everyone cranberry juice provided by Ocean Spray, water from Piggly Wiggly, and trail mix. Each lake along the way was blessed with traditional ceremonial tobacco.
At the end of the walk, all the waters were mixed and given back to Mother Earth by pouring them into Lake Petenwell which is part of the Wisconsin River.
Afterward, the Ho Chunk Nation hosted a traditional feast on the promitory overlooking Lake Petenwell at Barnum Bay. Folk Singer Skip Jones entertained people as they arrived, and after supper, the Strawberry Moon Singers performed traditional Native American songs.
The Central Wisconsin Nature Foundation announced that this walk will be an annual event. Our water is a precious resource that must be conserved and protected. Anyone interested in participating in next year’s event can email the foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.