When: May 25, 2019 - June 21, 2019
Lead River Journey
First leg of a river journey to promote water protection, rights of nature, slated to end at the World Peace and Prayer Day gathering at Ft. Ancient near Lebanon, Ohio on summer solstice, June 21, begins Saturday, May 25.
Originally scheduled to begin May 18, event organizers delayed the launch a week due to safety concerns. Paddlers will launch at a site yet to be announced and invite like minded individuals to join in their efforts to promote prioritizing environmental care taking duties. Those who participate will travel at their own risk.
The event is a vision of lead organizer, Degawenodas, who spoke in Coudersport at a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearing in January, 2018 in opposition of a request made by JKLM, a gas extraction company with its primary base of operation in Potter County, to build a frack wastewater treatment facility. Following voracious public outcry against the proposed facility, and formal notification from Seneca Nation of its opposition to the proposal, the plan was eventually dropped.
Promoting the rights of nature, fundamentally reconstructing legislation to prioritize our environment, has been a shared mission of Degawenodas and his wife, Huitzilin. The couple regularly travel to speak at public venues about the importance of people becoming better planetary caretakers and bringing humanity into balance with the natural world.
For the last two years, since its inception, the couple has led Bless The Allegheny/Ohi:yo ceremonies held on United Nations Global Water Awareness Day, March 22 alongside the river at Coudersport Area Recreational Park (CARP).
Details of Paddle with Peace and Prayer for Water Protection are listed in the campaign's Go Fund Me fundraiser platform:
“We are Defend Ohi:yo' or Deyögwë'nega:nyadö' (we who defend the waters) in onondowa:ga' gawa:no (People of the Great Hill, Seneca language) a grassroots organization formed in the defense of an attack made upon the Ohi:yo' (good/Allegany River). We look to raise awareness and bring together those of like mind, to become of the collective mind, ga;nigöiyo:h (the good mind)..We have chosen to do this to bring awareness to our cause as we continue to fight a black serpent attempting to come upon our ancestral lands: the Northern Access Pipeline.
“Upon our journey will also look to gain the “Rights of Nature” recognition for the Ohi:yo'. We proclaim these rights and will travel in their recognition. This acknowledgement is stated in our thanksgiving address where we give thanks to the people, our mother, the waters and all of creation as an equal.”
The journey will be documented and people are encouraged to follow the group's activities on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
To make a donation and connect with its organizers, go to: