We invited Edward George to this talk since he has also been reading Emergent Strategy and feels it has great potential for water protection. He was lifted up hearing people talk from all sides of the Great Lakes showing their care. As a young Anishinaabe man, he started his journey with the sacred water walks and paddling the Great Lakes. He has a close relationship with the Great Lakes and with many people across the region. He’s learned from the land, elders, and those doing the work.
This Great Lakes Commons initiative emerged from a confluence of political, emotional, social, and ethical forces that are constantly changing. But how is GLC changing? At the end of July, we invited some of our longest and more curious supporters to talk about what 'emergence' means to them and how GLC can change. The event was inspired by the book Emergent Strategy: shaping change, changing worlds, by Adrienne Maree Brown, since she has laid out many key principles and practices for looking at social movements through the lens of "emergence".
Water justice is not just about changing the distribution of water access and benefits, but access to the water governing rules too. The human right to water is a challenge globally and even here in the Great Lakes too. In recent years, the struggle for clean and affordable water has risen in Flint, Detroit, and in over 100 First Nations across Canada. This post presents 2 examples of how Indigenous nations are taking back some control over how the waters are governed.
At a recent freshwater gathering, participants used the terms "water leaders" and "water decision-makers" interchangeably. It seemed odd since Great Lakes Commons was founded on the need to create more water leaders who are currently outside the decision-making institutions and processes. Two different identities.
While everyone at this gathering was easily a "water leader" because they work tirelessly to protect water across Turtle Island, we were certainly not making the Federal, Provincial, State or Municipal rules that impact water -- the "decision-makers". If we were, the waters would likely be much more clean than they are now.
On Saturday, March 8 the Milwaukee Water Commons held its first-ever Leadership Training. Over twenty water leaders from across our city will help shape Milwaukee’s water future and awaken our connections to water in six neighborhoods.