I had the honour of meeting Autumn Peltier, as well as her sister and her mother Stephanie Peltier last November 2020. We met in Hull, Quebec by the Museum of History to take some photos of her in her handmade ribbon skirts and her ceremonial copper water vessel. I heard of Autumn Peltier when she had addressed Prime Minister Trudeau at the Assembly of First Nations in 2016. Autumn had a very clear, heartfelt plea for Canada’s Prime Minister. “I am very unhappy with the choices you’ve made’ referring to the pipeline and having access to clean drinking water for her people. Autumn has been a child activist since she was 8 years old, fighting for clean drinking water for First Nations.
4 years later Autumn continues this fight for clean water, she is following in the footsteps of her Great Aunt Josephine Mandamin who was a survivor of the Canadian Indian residential school system and the founder of the Mother Earth Water Walkers. During Josephine Mandamin’s 77 years, she walked about 25,000 miles around the shorelines of all the Great Lakes, and other waterways of North America, carrying a bucket of water, to bring awareness to the need to protect the waters from pollution.
These photos I took on a bitterly cold windy November day by the Ottawa River. But even in the cold, Autumn stood tall and strong in solidarity with her message to the Canadian Government, of which the Canadian Parliament Buildings are seen in the distance.
March 22, 2021, is World Water Day, according to worldwaterday.org, it celebrates water and raises awareness of the global water crisis, and a core focus of the observance is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal: water and sanitation for all by 2030.” This year’s theme for World Water Day is, Valuing Water. What does Water mean to you? Let us all take some time to reflect on how we connect with water in our day-to-day lives. And in turn, ask how we can make choices to protect this vital resource.
To learn more about World Water Day visit www.WorldWaterDay.org And to learn more about Autumn Peltier and hear her message about water to the world and see another photo I took of her, head over to Rematriation.com