Alberta WaterWalk Updates

[Cross Canada Waterwalk 1998]     [Waterwalk main page]


July 1st - WaterWalk updates from June 24th to June 30th
June 23th - last day in Calgary
June 22th - WaterWalk goes through Calgary
June 19th - three waterwalkers almost to Calgary
June 18th - more details on the walk in Calgary
June 17th - a call to walk with Eloise in Calagry
June 16th - an email about the water controversy in Calgary
June 14th - a visit to Cochrane, Alberta

posted: July 1st, 1998
source: email from WaterWalk in Suffield

We left Calgary on Thursday, June 25th. Tom Attwater of Cluny, Alberta introduced Karin to Gary, who was playing in a band at the Flatlanders Festival opening in Gleichan on Friday Evening. Eloise, Emma [Eloise's daughter], Kerry and Karin walked to Strathmore on Thursday and then drove to meet up with Gary and friends who were rehearsing that night in Gleichan.

We were invited by Father Walter of the Precious Cargo Church of the Universe to sleep in his most unusual church building. Formally a school bus depot, this very expansive church was filled with items large and small for sale or giveaway. Walter opened his heart and home to us and we met many of his friends, most of whom are musicians.

The next day, we traveled back to Strathmore to complete the walk to Gleichan, and that evening we danced and socialized with the town folk at the Community Centre. On Saturday morning, the team went down to the same hall for a pancake breakfast, cooked and served to us by the local police force (same crew who served drinks the night before!). Karin took out her guitar and sang family oriented songs for all ages - from babies to seniors. Many of the local residents sang along! Again, people asked questions about the WaterWalk.

On Saturday we began our walk east of Gleichan and traveled about 35 kms in gale winds. Thank goodness the wind was at our backs and pushing us off the road instead of into the traffic. We find many people are recognizing us now and honk as they drive by. We also find wonderful gifts on the side of the road: sunglasses, clothing, tools, etc. Everything we need and more!

We returned to Gleichan that evening for a dance featuring Amos Garrett and the Eh! Team. The band announced the WaterWalk and afterwards many people approached us. Unfortunately, Emma was too young to attend the dance and was asked to leave. Eloise and Kerry accompanied her. Karin stayed and danced with some of the locals, including the Gleichan Police Sargeant, ironically named Gerry Kopp!

The next day, June 28th, the WaterWalkers headed out and arrived just outside of Brooks later that day. Tired from the busy weekend and the long walk, the crew solicited a free camping site near Lake Newell and set up tent. It was great to be outdoors again and to hear and see the beauty and diversity of the birds. We were also very popular with the mosquitoes and quickly applied Citronella Oil.

On Monday morning, we took down our tent and tarp and drove back to the TransCanada to resume our walk. We walked about 45 kms and then drove the remainder of the way to Suffield. We called Memory and Skip Myers, who welcomed us to stay in the Suffield Community Centre. Very hospitable and knowledgeable about the water quality in their village, Skip and Memory told us their water story. There is a large army base in the neighbouring town of Ralston. Suffield's water is tested every Monday and so far the underground spring is pure enough so that they do not need to treat it.

On Tuesday morning, we drove back to the spot where we had left off and walked the remaining 20 kms into Suffield. On Wednesday (Canada Day) we have the day off and will be playing with the townsfolk. We hope to set up a table to display our information and to attract interested individuals. Eloise will have an opportunity to speak and Karin will sing Canadian songs. Kerry is considering whether or not he will enter the cross-dressing contest. We have already spoken with the press here and they will get our story and a picture tomorrow.

On Thursday, July 2nd, we will walk to Medicine Hat. We don't as yet have a place to stay there, but hopefully someone in attendance at the Canada Day celebration will provide us with a contact. It always seems to work out!

People are attracted to the flowmobile and it seems to be one of our best conversation starters. We haven't solicited alot more signatures yet but are gathering a few along the way. Dave Good in Calgary made us some very professional-looking business cards and we are enthusiastically distributing them. Emma seems happy and is adapting to being on the road. She is a beautiful young woman both inside and out and it's fun to interact with her. Today, Kerry taught Emma how to play darts and tonight we'll teach her how to play crib. Then we plan to have a crib tournament!

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posted: June 23th, 1998
source: phone conversation with Eloise

WaterWalk was in Calgary all day on Tuesday, June 23rd, soliciting and stockpiling supplies for the journey ahead from Calgary businesses. Eloise went up to the 99th floor of the Petro-Can building and tried to see the president about getting help on gas, and just about got thrown out. She will try Husky on Wednesday to see if she can get a gas card for the "flow mobile". Kerry needs shoes in a big way, and they are working on that. There has been some luck in getting food donations, a little here, a little there.

Eloise got up early on Tuesday morning in order to attend a conference on fluoridation, which is a really contentious issue in Calgary at the present time. It seems that the fluoride they use is shipped in from Trail, B.C. More information will follow from her about this subject. Eloise was on local T.V. twice, one of the two being the local CBC station. Karin sang in an old folks home.

The group is wearing the WaterWalk T-shirts, which are really effective in attracting attention. Rather than sell the T-shirts, Eloise feels better about giving them to people who put out a lot of energy housing and feeding the WaterWakers for a night or more. They are staying at Dave Good's house on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and had stayed at Jack Locke's house on Monday night. Dave has helped them make up little cards to give out to people about WaterWalk.

On Wednesday the WaterWalk will start towards Strathmore, which is a day and a half away on foot. Wednesday night will be spent back at Dave's house. On Thursday they will arrive in Strathmore, where the local newspaper is waiting to talk to Eloise and accomodation is arranged for everyone for the night.

The tentative arrival schedule has been changed to arrive in Brooks on July 1st, where Eloise is scheduled in for a speaking engagement. There is no firm arrival date at this point for Medicine Hat.

More detailed writeups to follow soon about earlier parts of the walk and about local water issues in the communities the WaterWalk has passed through.

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posted: June 22th, 1998
source: by Judith Maltz based on phonecall from Karin Roberts

Spoke to Karin in Calgary last night. Kerry arrived with Oliver and Emma in time for the walk through the city.

[editors note: Kerry went to Nelson to pick up the "flow mobile", a large white Ford LTD which is being signed by WaterWalk supporters for a donation of $5 or more, and will serve both as a support vehicle and mobile petition on the road to Ottawa.]

They [all] walked at 10am on Sunday along the Bow River, as planned, and did a [water] weaving ceremony in the heart of the city. They met a man who is cycling across the country from Vancouver to Halifax for the salmon. His name, as she gave it to me, is Glen Capp and he will spread the word to those he meets that Eloise will soon be on her way. It appears that there are many people traversing the country this summer: the hockey player who was abused by his coach and is fund-raising for a treatment center, Bear, Glen and Eloise at the least. There are probably others we haven't heard of yet, just as Eloise has not been widely publicized.

I reiterated to Karin the importance of encouraging everyone active in the field of water protection to send us some information on their particular circumstances and to keep sending us contacts as the walk progresses so we could do some follow-up research maybe at some point. The possibility of building this water network cross-country is at the heart of WaterWalk as far as I'm concerned. Whatever the personal experiences for the participants along the way, this people to people networking is the uniquely valuable by-product.

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posted: June 19th, 1998
source: phonecall to Judith Maltz from Eloise Charet

Three people are now on the WaterWalk journey. Joining Kerry and Eloise this week is Karin Roberts. Karin brings her golden voice, drum and repertoire of songs and chants, adding a ceremonial dimension to the act of "weaving the waters". She plans to walk until Mid-August. They have passed through Banff, Canmore, Exshaw, Morley and Cochrane.

After camping in the rain Wednesday night, the WaterWalkers pressed on to Cochrane to spend the night (Thursday) at the home of Gerry Ross and family. Along the way they visited the Stony Mountain Reserve, visiting with Tina Fox, winner of the YWCA Human Rights Award.

After leaving Cochrane early Friday morning to complete the 20 km. walk to Calgary, Eloise and friends are expected to spend three days in the area. A walk through Calgary is planned for Sunday June 21.

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posted: June 18th, 1998
source: Jack Locke (Press Release)

Beginning at 10 A.M. near the Shouldice Pool (5303 Bowness Rd., between the tennis courts and the Bow River) Charet and others will cross Calgary along the river pathway until they reach Prince's Island. All Calgarians are invited to join Eloise.

Eloise intends to 'weave' a sample of Calgary's Bow River into the water she is collecting from water sources from across the nation. The water will arrive in Ottawa with Eloise in October.

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posted: June 17th, 1998
source: Dave Good

Join Eloise on Waterwalk this Sunday, June 21st, in Calgary.

Meet near Shouldice Pool, north of 16th Avenue, 5303 Bowness Road - between the tennis courts and the Bow River. We leave at 10:00 am., to walk along the north side of the Bow River towards the Zoo. All are welcome. Please come self-sufficient in water and food - prepared for weather and walking. For more information here in Calgary please phone: Jack @ 286-6473 or Dave @ 263-0367.

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posted: June 14th, 1998
source: Dave Good

The WaterWalk arrived in Lake Louise as planned. On Saturday, June 13th, Dave Good drove Eloise from Lake Louise to Cochrane, Alberta, where she attended the opening of the Cochrane Municipal Water Treatment Facility. Eloise had a chance to speak at the end of the other speeches. She was introduced by Gerry Ross, president of the local Cochrane Environmental Action Committee.

According to Dave Good: "The mayor and Eloise had a chance for a good conversation. Later we toured this facility and saw how the systems all worked - it was a "model" modern facility - "best in Alberta" - it is mostly intented to remove particulate matter [last spring Cochrane had to boil their water] during spring runoff - various upstream sources like Banff, Canmore, natural sources also."

After the opening, Dave Good drove Eloise back to Lake Louise. The WaterWalk plans to arrive in Banff on Sunday, June 14th.

Eloise also got the opportunity of meeting with members of the Alberta Environmental Coalition and the Alberta Water Caucus.

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