Ninety-mile People of the Heart Water Walk starts Saturday in Copper Harbor

The People of the Heart Water Walk will join people of all colors, faiths, and philosophies to work together for life’s most precious resource, Nibi (water).

The Water Walk is conducted through Anishinaabe ceremonial protocol and ways of understanding the natural environment. In this work for the water, the women lead the ceremony, carrying a copper vessel filled with Nibi from Copper Harbor Lighthouse to Sandpoint Lighthouse located in Baraga. The water continually moves through the 1854 Ceded Territory throughout the day starting at sunrise and into the afternoon. The men support the women by carrying an eagle staff beside them as their protectors.

Water Walkers will walk the 90 miles along Gichi Gumee (Lake Superior), in awe of her beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula. With the assistance of Anishinaabekwe from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, we will walk together in a movement to inspire compassion and hope. We celebrate by bringing all people and communities working together for the freedoms that unite us for our most precious resource.

All are welcomed to participate as we bring awareness to Nibi!

For more information or to message organizers please visit: fb.me/peopleoftheheart

This is a general route with anticipated stopping points, weather and other factors may influence where the walk begins and ends each day. Also note, there is a support shuttle that will accompany Walkers, you can hop in at any time and shuttle any baggage you may have with you.


Copper Harbor to Mohawk along Highway 26, taking the second cut off to 41; alternative route first cut-off to 41 in case of weather or traffic (Oct. 19).


Mohawk to Houghton via 41 – take first right under Portage Bridge and onto Sheldon Avenue to Good Shepherd Church (Oct. 20).


Good Shepherd Church, Houghton to Sandpoint Lighthouse, Keweenaw Bay (Oct. 21).


• Lodging available at Fanny Hooe Resort in Copper Harbor for 10 people (double occupancy), with Copper Harbor Walkers, and in Houghton/Hancock at Cynthia Drake’s, Anne Newcombe’s or Charli Mills’.

• Lodgers who plan to stay the night at Lake Fannie Hooe Resort need to check-in at 5 p.m. to get room, linens, and instructions on how to clean room in the morning (room is free in exchange for cleaning it before departure).

• A pre-walk gathering and pot-luck feast is planned for early evening in Copper Harbor (please message organizers for directions).


• Begin at 6 a.m. from Astor Shipwreck Park (Copper Harbor Lighthouse Overlook)

• Walk along the Lake as much as possible (safety and weather dependent)

• End walk at 5 p.m.

• Feast at Bethany Lutheran Church in Mohawk

• Lodging at church (bring your own sleeping bags), at Farm Block (6 beds, plus camping spots), and at Cynthia Drake’s, Anne Newcombe’s or Charli Mills’.


• Begin where the previous walk left off at 6 a.m.

• Walk to Houghton (cross bridge by 5 p.m.)

• Feast at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 6 p.m.

• Lodging at church (bring your own sleeping bags), at Cynthia Drake’s, Anne Newcombe’s or Charli Mills’.

NOTE: If anyone certified to drive an MTU van would like to support Walkers on this day your help would be greatly appreciated (message organizers).


• Begin 6 a.m. from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

• Walk to Sandpoint Lighthouse in Keweenaw Bay

• Feast at Senior Center in Baraga

Things to bring:

Women are kindly asked to wear long skirts during this ceremonial Walk (if you do not have one others are bringing extras along).

Wear layers

Hooded parka or hoodie


Waterproof footwear/comfortable walking shoes

Second pair of shoes

Extra socks

Bandages, ibuprofen, neosporin

Bright colored clothing – think safety

Good gloves with grips

Camelbacks/water bottles **please avoid non-reusable plastics**

Toiletries and prepped disposal bag

Sunblock/wind protection

Headlamps for early morning Walkers

People of the Heart Water Walk Protocol

Women, men, elders, and youth are all invited to participate in this community-wide event for awareness and healing of our waters and Lake Superior. The general public is welcome to walk in support of clean, healthy water.


* Ningaa izhichige Nibi onji (I will do this for the Water).

* Walkers should not be under the influence of illicit drugs, alcohol or abusing prescription drugs. Those who use should abstain for at least four (4) days before the walk. Keep in mind that we are a reflection of the education we put forth.

* With respect to our culture, all women must wear long skirts. In respect to our culture, women cannot participate in this sacred event during their moon time.

* The water will be collected in a copper vessel. If you carry the water, handle it with care to prevent the water from spilling out of the vessel.

* The water must never stop moving forward once it is lifted, and it cannot go backward.

* Only women carry the water.

* Men and women can carry the Eagle Staff.

* We use a relay type system to keep the water moving. It is roughly around a half-mile at each interval, which is to keep everyone from expending high amounts of energy and from becoming exhausted.

* This is strictly a volunteer effort and each person is responsible for their own expenses, including vehicle fuel if you choose to drive.

* If you volunteer your vehicle for the walk, only licensed drivers should drive vehicles, and vehicles should have enough gas, which is provided by the vehicle owner.

* If you volunteer your vehicle: Lock your personal belongings in your trunk, not that anyone would steal, but it might get stomped on from people getting in and out.

* A van will be available to pick up participants on Saturday and Sunday and Monday!

* Transportation will be provided at the end of the walk to return walkers to parked vehicles.

* KBIC is not responsible for accidents or injuries. If you are going to walk, please be sure you are able to.

* Wear sturdy walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.

* It may be a good idea to have band-aids, gauze, medical tape and anti-bacterial ointment on hand…blisters form even in the most comfortable shoes.

* The Water Walk will conclude at the Sand Point Area in Baraga, on Monday, October 21, 2019. A welcome Feast will be provided by the KBIC Culture Committee and Tribal Council!

* Please bring protein snacks/food, fruit, and water to keep energy levels up and stay hydrated. Bring reusable containers for extra water/coffee to be provided at designated stations. Please…NO BOTTLED WATER!

All are welcome to participate in any part of this journey!



Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)