Ngah Itzhichigay Nibi Ohnjay — “I will do it for the water.”
Speaker: Sharon M. Day
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center
Sharon M. Day, an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe, is among the founders of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force. Formerly known as the Minnesota American Indian AIDS Task Force, IPTF was launched as a volunteer organization in 1987 and hired its initial staff in 1988. Day has served IPTF as executive director since 1990, guiding the organization as it grounds its services in the culture of American Indian people. Day is second-degree M’dewiwin and follows the spiritual path of the Anishinabe people. She is an artist, musician, and writer who has studied public health at the University of Minnesota.
Day has received numerous honors, including the Resourceful Woman Award, the Gisela Knopka Award, BIHA’s Women of Color Award, the National Native American AIDS Prevention Resource Center’s Red Ribbon Award, and—most recently—the Alston Bannerman Sabbatical Award. The state of Minnesota and the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis have recognized Day’s contributions, in part, by declaring November 10, 1998, in her honor.
She served as editor for the anthology, “Sing! Whisper! Shout! Pray! Feminist Visions for a Just World,” published by Edgework Books in 2000, and contributed to “Drink of the Winds, Let the Waters Flow Free,” published by the Johnson Institute in 1978.
Day has led nine water walks since 2011, including a journey from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Superior for the Mother Earth Water Walk and the Mississippi River Water Walk. Water walkers carry water from its source to the mouth of the river or lake to pray for the water and to promote waterway conservation.