Peace and Environment Resource Centre

Your community voice for peace and sustainability

Get Adobe Flash player
  Become a member & receive the PEN!

Donate Now Through!

About your donation

  Help spread the word and support our work!

Fundraise Now Through!



Create a secure online giving page through CanadaHelps to share

Get PERC Updates


Sign up for our email newsletter for updates from the PERC and PEN

Event Calendars

Suggested Links:
Ecology Ottawa has an excellent calendar of local eco-events.
Green Ottawa has an events list as well as a directory of green groups, jobs, and more.

Old PERC site

Link to old PERC site

Please note: PEN archives and other online PERC projects prior to 2010 are provided as a courtesy but are not updated. We regret that we cannot correct outdated links or information from these past editions and projects.

Sacred Water Circle Launches Community Action Plan


Sacred Water Circle is one of many organizations advocating for the benefit of water. However, the initiative's distinctive approach is spiritually based with a focus on revaluing indigenous environmental knowledge.

Sacred Water Circle tries to increase dialogue around environmental issues, and to motivate communities and governments to set policy that will protect water, by leading with prayer and walking.

A spiritual approach to caring for water is absolutely necessary, said the organization's co-founder Cathy Mitchell.

The connection between water and human communities is very much a spiritual bond, said Mitchell. Lack of respect for water is a spiritual problem and therefore the solutions are also spiritual, she added.

Issues like lack of water and climate change affect the poorest in the world and these people contribute the least to the issues, she explained.
"In order for people to continue living in the manner they do, they must abandon their moral judgement. If we viewed water as sacred a lot of conflict would be avoided," she added.

Water must be viewed as sacred as one's own body, explained Mitchell. If water was sacred, decisions regarding pipelines and clean water would not be as contentious as they are. The safety of water would be the number one priority, she explained.

Since 2011, the Sacred Water Circle has been working to mend the spiritual bond between water and human communities. By the end of summer 2015 the organization will launch their community action plan and a manual aiming to renew relationship with water.

In August, the Circle released videos called Teaching Turtles. The short clips feature Indigenous elders sharing stories, wisdom and history. This year's clips were taken at the circle's large water gathering in May called "Seven Generations Ahead: Celebrating Water Solutions."

The gathering was an important opportunity to partner schools, businesses, scientists, government and officials with people of faith to primarily revalue indigenous knowledge and perspectives, said Mitchell.

The event held in Peterborough featured Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and Elder Shirley Williams. "We start with prayer and spiritual courage before we get to the action and the work," said Mitchell.

As part of the gathering, the circle held a intergenerational panel. Youth as young as ten years old took part in the panel discussing water and the environment. "Young people are very overwhelmed by the environmental issues they are born into--our project was a response to that," said Mitchell.
A call for protecting water and the environment was also shared through art, dance, and song.

Sacred Water Circle also hosted a City Hall 101 earlier this year to acquaint water advocates with their local decision-making processes and city policy structures.

"We must renew our relationship with water. Water is life. We believe that it is the sacred lifeblood of everything," Mitchell said.
Miriam Katawazi was the 2015 summer journalist at the Peace and Environment Resource Centre.

In this issue..

More local affordable food destined for West Carleton in 2016

Val Ward and Judi Varga-Toth, Sustain West Carleton


Want more PEN?

Look for the full print edition at community centres and select retailers throughout the Ottawa area.

The PERC site features highlights from the current edition. PDF versions of the full PEN will be available in the archives after the current edition is off the stands.



The PERC thanks the above organizations for their support.

Thank you to Envirocentre and to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for sponsoring the Spring 2016 edition of the PEN.


Related Items

Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the Peace and Environment News, or our supporters. The PEN does not recommend, approve or endorse any of the advertisers, products or services printed in the PEN or referred to on the PERC website. Health-related information printed in the PEN or online is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed health care provider. The PERC and PEN are not responsible for the content on any external website links.