My name is Claudette Commanda, and my Watermark is a private lake in my home community of Kitigan Zibi, Anishinabeg First Nation. People of the world, human beings, we all come from water. We were born out of water, Mother Earth was born out of water, land rose from that water. And we, as human beings, for the first nine months of our lives, we were in the water of our mother. So for me, as a First Nation woman, as a mother, and as a grandmother, I’m deeply connected to the water.
This particular body of water, I’m drawn to it because it’s very calming, it’s nourishing, and I really feel the energy and the power of my ancestors, the power of those water beings, and the power of the spirits – the spirits that have been there since time immemorial, and the spirits that continue to be there to ensure that we are protected, to ensure that we have life, to ensure that we know who we are as First Nations people, as Algonquin people, and to ensure that we uphold our responsibility to acknowledging the water.