Monday, September 22, 2014
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Lake Winnipeg should be 'recognized as a person,' says advocate

Katherine Sinclair is walking 1,300 kilometres to raise awareness about health of world's 10th largest lake

By Connie Walker, CBC News

Katherine Sinclair is on a mission. Starting Saturday, Sinclair will begin a journey to walk around Lake Winnipeg.

But her goal is not just to finish the 28-day journey over often rough terrain, she has set her sights on an even bigger fight. Sinclair wants Lake Winnipeg to be recognized as a person.

"The lake has a spirit. The lake has a spirit just as you have a spirit. It is alive. It has life. Everything has life and she needs to be protected. Obviously, right now she hasn’t been."

Sinclair says she came up with the plan after reading that the lake was nominated as one of the most threatened lakes in the world.

"Ten years from now if something isn’t done to halt what’s going on, this is going to be a dead freshwater lake, the sixth largest in the world. Come on, let’s wake up here. Let’s start taking some action to protect her and to help her regain her strength."

Sinclair says she has received support from communities around the lake and will be joined by walkers throughout her journey.

But Sinclair recognizes her goal of having Lake Winnipeg recognized as a person and given legal title may be harder than the walk she is starting today.

"It’s not going to be easy. I’m not naive. It’s going to be a challenge and it will take a lot of determination but I believe it’s going to happen. I have to because I need my grandchildren seven generations from now to have clean water to drink. Water equals life and we’ve got to start protecting our waterways from the corporations that continue to pollute her, the industries that continue to rob the water and bottle and sell it."

Sinclair will be joined on her journey by two helpers and her husband Justice Murray Sinclair.

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