Giving and Receiving Life from Anishinaabe Nibi Inaakonigewin (Our Water Law) Research
In J. Thorpe, S. Rutherford and A. Sandberg, Methodological Challenges in Nature-Culture and Environmental History Research, (Routledge, 2017) pp. 105-119.
18 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2019
Date Written: 2017
Being a mother is a defining life role for Anishinaabe women. We are many other things but our role as mother is given to us directly by, and connects us to, Mother Earth. In ceremonies, we often go back to the relationship between mother and child to help us understand who we are as people and our purpose in life. One example is the sweat lodge that symbolizes the womb of a mother and the purification and new beginning that the ceremony can bring. From the Anishinaabemowin language know that to be a mother is not only the role of the birth mother, but that of a mother's sisters (a child's aunts) as well. As mothers, aunties. and close friends, we can be mothers to all of our children.
For me, the research relating to water that I discuss in this chapter is like having and beginning to raise a child. It is what I consider to be a step in a life long learning, teaching, sharing and caring role in relation to water and the teachings that flow from it. Children are born of water. This water is carried by their mothers for the express purpose of creating and bringing life. We are all made up in large part of water and we need water in our daily lives to sustain our bodies and spirits. Our life comes from and depends on water. I analogize this research and the phases of its development to the coming to life of a child through conception, birth and what we learn as young children.
Keywords: Water, Law, Anishinaabe nibi inaakonigewin, Indigenous Law, Aboriginal Law, Environmental Law, Water Law
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