St. Marys River, USA - Jennifer McLeod

My Watermark is the St. Marys River, Michigan.

I live on Sugar Island in St. Marys River, outside of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The Great Lake that I would have the greatest connection to is the river that connects them, the St. Marys River. The St. Marys River connects us to all of the Great Lakes. I have not just a physical connection to that lake, but I have a spiritual one as well. As an Anishinaabe woman, we have ceremonies and a regard for the waters that are very different from western thinking. We look at water as a living being. It is sacred, it is not just a resource, it is not a means for transportation, it is not something there to exploit for our own purpose. It is a living entity and we regard it as sacred.

We have ceremonies for it that include speaking for the water. The women of our tribe, of our Nation's especially, are considered as protectors of the water. The way we seen things is that everything is interconnected. There is nothing that is more important than the other. We can't have life without air. We can't have life without water. How can you choose which one is most important? They are both vital to who we are and to our survival. In Western thinking, it tends to be more linear. It goes straight out. In Anishinaabe thinking, it's circular. Everything goes around and is connected to everything else. Human-beings are just a part of that great circle. We are not the reason for the circle.

Jeff Kart
Jennifer McLeod

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