“Akawe Nibi: Water First” pop-up event aims to celebrate the life water gives

Illustration by Jake Barnard

Illustration by Jake Barnard

The “Akawe Nibi: Water First” community pop-up event organized by the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) focuses on the importance of drinking water instead of sugary beverages.

Akawe Nibi Water First poster. Photo courtesy of AICHO.jpg

The event is free and includes hands-on activities such as creating your own infused water samples with the intentions of educating the community on the Anishinaabe cultural significance of water and the many health benefits to drinking water.

“Akawe Nibi: Water First” will take place this Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Niiwin Indigenous Foods Market located at 102 E. 4th Street, Duluth, MN.

“There are many cultural significances of water,” Ivy Vainio, AICHO Program Coordinator said. “Traditional Anishinaabeg believe that water is a life giving spirit. The water that our ancestors drank is the same water that we drink today, and if we take care of the water, our descendants will be drinking the water that we drink now. It connects us all inter-generationally.”

The market is scheduled to open for business early in 2020, in the meantime, AICHO organizes monthly pop-up events, with the intentions of educating the community of indigenous foods and indigenous food systems. Their pop-up events are funded by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership through the Minnesota Department of Health in an effort to increasing healthy living.

AICHO is a non-profit organization dedicated towards improving the Native American community by responding to social issues impacting their community, including supporting women and domestic violence victims as well as relieving poverty and homelessness in Duluth. If you are interested in volunteering with AICHO, contact Ivy Vainio at ivy.aicho@gmail.com.

CultureSuenary Philavanh