On May 7, after two periods of hard work, an assembly, and a quick common lunch, students at Collingwood’s Jean Vanier Catholic High School took to the trails for WE Walk for Water.
In keeping with our long-standing commitment to social justice and water awareness; Jean Vanier’s staff and students walked 5km together as a school to Collingwood’s Sunset Point, carrying buckets of water.
During our kickoff assembly, students from Ms Pearson’s Grade 12 religion class discussed the rights of citizens to clean drinking water, the absence of potable water in Canadian First Nations communities and the inspiring actions of thirteen-year-old Anishinabe activist Autumn Pelieter. There are currently 76 First Nation reservations without potable (drinkable) water. These communities face long-term drinking advisories due to various water contamination issues. A further 30 First Nation reservations also face problems with the quality of their water (short-term drinking advisories).
As the first Canadian ever nominated for the ‘Children’s International Peace Prize’, Autumn Pelieter inspired the Assembly of First Nations Youth Council to create a fund to help provide clean drinking water on First Nation reserves, and has joined the UN in its goal to protect water throughout the world in collaboration with its new project, ‘International Decade for Action and Sustainable Development’.
The assembly also addressed ways that we, as individuals, can help protect our water. The measures suggested include taking shorter showers, turning off taps and making sure there are no leaks, carrying reusable water bottles, and getting involved in water education.
The walk was a great success; bringing awareness to our community and raising over $600 for WE Walk for Water. The money raised will be enough to provide 24 people with clean water for life.