Second Annual Mni Ki Wakan Decade of Water Summit August 8-9

Autumn Peltier, Anishinaabe (Screen capture from CBC News You Tube video.)

The Second Annual Mni Ki Wakan World Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water Summit, an indigenous-led event, will be held at Neighborhood House, 179 Robie St. E., St Paul, on Wednesday and Thursday, August 8-9.

Autumn Peltier, a 13-year-old Anishinaabe teen from Wimwemikong First Nation will give the keynote address. On March 22, Peltier addressed the United Nations during its Action Water Decade: 2018-2028, calling on members to “Warrior Up.” (CBC story here.) Peltier is calling for the recognition of water’s personhood and for a future of healthy and clean water. (Here is a five-minute video of her speech.)

Comment: Anyone who does a double take at the mention of giving water “personhood” should consider that we give corporations “personhood” and water is more important to our survival than corporations.

On Day Two of the Summit, Julia Faye Muñoz of Guam will give a Pacific Islander perspective on the access, availability, and sustainability of water. The Summit also will include a workshop on digital storytelling, where people can record their stories of water.

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Registration Open for Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit

Registration is open through Friday, July 21, for the Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit. The two-day summit, August 1-2 (Tuesday and Wednesday) will be held at First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave. S. in Minneapolis. (“Mni Ki Wakan” means “Water is Sacred” in Dakota.)

For more information, see the event Facebook Page and the Mni Ki Wakan World Flyer.

Click here to register. The cost for individual registration is $150 ($100 for students). They also offer group rates.

The summit grew out of humble beginnings, starting about a decade ago with Mde Maka Ska Canoe Nations Gathering. More recently, the LaPointe family held community conversations around the restoration of the name Bde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake) to Lake Calhoun, and what that could mean for the broader culture. The idea for the summit emerged from that dialogue.

The summit will be “an indigenous youth-centered and indigenous peoples-oriented call for continued and deepened action.” According to the Facebook Page:

Across the world’s vast regions of rainforests, deserts, mountains, oceans, lakes, and river ways, flowing below ground and above, the vision of the Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water Summit seeks to co-create a collective indigenous-designed map and transformative world agenda for the future. The 10-year international indigenous water summit will bring and elevate the collective wisdom, intelligence, and futurities of indigenous peoples in the world narrative. In following the life-giving spirit of water, we will enliven a more transformative and ecologically sustainable future. Because when the inherent rights of all life are respected and protected, so too, can Mother Earth be recognized as the one true home of all life.

Organizers plan to make it an annual event for the next decade.

Organizers also plan a pre-summit walk around Mde Maka Ska on Monday, July 31st, starting at 7 a.m., meeting near South Thomas Beach, 3700 Thomas Ave. S. See the flyer (above) for more details on the event.

Here is a link for a contact form for event organizers if you have questions.

Help Launch Water Summit in Minneapolis and Support a Lakota Family’s Trip to the UN

Healing Minnesota Stories invites you to support a local Lakota family who is traveling to New York to participate in the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and have its voice heard. Among other things, the family hopes to use the U.N. trip to promote and build support for a Minneapolis-based Mni ki Wakan Decade of Water Summit.

The LaPointe Tiwahe (Lakota for “extended family”) is doing important work in our community. Please consider making a contribution to this trip, even if it is just $10 or $20. There are more details on the family’s GoFundMe page. Continue reading

Update: Mni ki Wakan: The Decade of Water Summit Planned for August

Efforts are moving forward for the indigenous-led “Mni ki Wakan: The Decade of Water Summit” in Minneapolis later this year, and you can help.

Seven members of the LaPointe tiwahe (family) will be traveling to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues meeting March 24 – April 5 to let people know about the Summit, network, and invite participation. The LaPointe family is hosting an informal gathering and fundraiser to help support its trip to the United Nations. The event is:

Saturday, March 11, 6:00 -8:30 p.m. at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Ave. Those attending will include Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) traditional knowledge keepers, indigenous human rights observers, relatives from Standing Rock, filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild (Lower Sioux) and rapper Tall Paul. The event will include indigenous food and music, and be youth and community oriented.

Please come, learn and support this important work. Continue reading