“People gathered for a prayer session, led by LeMoine LePointe and his sons Thorne LaPointe and Wakinyan LaPointe, on the south side of Mde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake) for the second annual Mde Maka Ska: Four Sacred Directions Water Walk in Minneapolis, Minn., on July 31, 2017. This event, which celebrates Lake Bde Make Ska and was the kick off two the two day MNI KI WAKAN”
Following the Mni Ki Wakan Pre-Summit events on July 31st, participants engaged in interactive conversations in collectively designing the Mni Ki Wakan World Agenda, charting the path forward for the next 10 years towards a transformative world future with clean and healthy water.
Indigenous Peoples, youth, and allies gathered together for the Mde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake): Four Sacred Directions Water Walk and the Mni Ki Wakan: Water is Sacred Canoe Paddle upon Mde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake), July 31st.
Inaugurating the first annual Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit. As they collectively designed the Mni Ki Wakan World Agenda, charting the map forward towards a transformative future where water is clean and healthy.
Placing the broader community back in relation to water, indigenous youth set out by canoe upon Mde Maka Ska: White Earth Lake, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. As they were sent off by song and prayer.
Indigenous peoples and youth canoed to Cedar Lake, where the community welcomed them ashore in a ceremonious way with a special lunch as indigenous custom. Honoring their profound contribution to the water, where they received food and songs.
With a closing of this sacred day at Mde Maka Ska, these canoe nations had marked the beginning of Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit, as they designed the indigenous led, collective Mni Ki Wakan World Agenda during the following two days, August 1st and 2nd, in which various transformative possibilities for a future of clean and restored water emerged.
“It was like being from a different dimension … The patience, the wisdom was so obvious. It’s something I miss because we don’t see much of that these days. People don’t want to take the time to sit down and visit with each other. We as a people started coming apart when we forgot how to visit. How do we restore relationships that we lost? … Maybe one day we could encircle this lake with people,” LeMoine said.
“What seed might we plant together today that could make the most difference to the future of the Indigenous Peoples’ Water Summit?” 26-year-old Thorne LaPointe asked a group of about 50 Indigenous youth, elders, and non-Indigenous supporters at the inaugural Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit. The discussion question, posed on the third day of the summit, was emblematic of the tone, structure, and values that guided the entire event.