The Ontario Native Women’s Association Honours the Legacy of Biidasige Josephine Mandamin

by pmnationtalk on February 25, 2019821 Views

The Ontario Native Women’s Association Honours the Legacy of Biidasige Josephine Mandamin

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) wishes to honour the passing of Biidasige (Grandmother Water Walker) Josephine Mandamin. She was a treasured leader and role model for our Indigenous women, girls and community, and was involved with ONWA and the Indigenous Women’s leadership movement for many decades. Josephine served as ONWA’s Executive Director for four years, and retired early to fulfill a calling to protect the water.

Biidasige’s connection to the water, the giver of life, developed into a movement that defends and honours the water. Her passing on to the spirit world gives us great pause, as we reflect on her accomplished life and the importance of her work. She will never be forgotten because each time the water needs protecting Josephine Mandamin’s legacy will empower future generations to continue her work.

“Josephine was a kind warm Anishinabe woman whose wisdom had a clarity that was proudly grounded in her culture and teachings. Whether in the halls of power or leading water walks around the Great Lakes she had the passion of belief in the work she was doing. The Creator blessed us with Josephine and for this we will be forever grateful.” Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President (ONWA)

“Josephine reminded people and communities that water deserves to be respected. She walked gently on the earth with an earned respect of her own that was humble and giving. She taught us all how to be respectful of not only the water but also each other.” Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director (ONWA)

In a world consumed with conflict and indecision, Biidasige Josephine Mandamin put one foot in front the other and helped change the world one step at a time. She will be missed, but in our hearts we know that she is walking with the Creator sharing stories and watching over us as we continue to follow in her footsteps.

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