By KELLY vanFRANKENHUYZEN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Water warriors from tribes across the Great Lakes region are preserving an important relative. It’s water – a resource so important that tribes refer to it in such personal terms.
“Water is a living resource, and we share an interdependent relationship with it,” said Daugherty Johnson III, environmental services manager at the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, in Harbor Springs. Native Americans in the U.S. and First Nations in Canada believe water plays an important role historically, economically, politically, geographically and culturally. Tribal and non-tribal governments in Canada and the U.S. share responsibility for preserving the Great Lakes through various agreements. A major one, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, is a binational understanding of roles they contribute to Great Lakes protection.