CPN member and Vieux and Johnson family descendant Barbara Wall lives in Ontario, Canada, and works as an assistant professor in the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Program at Trent University in Peterborough, and the beautiful Otonabee River runs through campus.

Barbara Wall, Ph.D.

She feels her Potawatomi ancestry and love of water guided her toward her place in the world as an academic, her research and even inspired her Nishnabe name. She focused her doctoral efforts on reclaiming Potawatomi water practices, specifically as they relate to women.

“It really opens your mind to think about, ‘Well, if there’s that much intention involved in gathering some water, what about other things?’ It kind of opens up your heart and your spirit to think about and to realize how knowledgeable and strong and amazing our ancestors must have been,” she said.

More than a decade ago, Wall wrote a poem about grandmothers’ role in the world. She saw a call for essays and creative writing about grandmothers and their role as elders in various communities and cultures from a publisher for a collection, Grandmothers and Grandmothering: Creative and Critical Contemplations in Honour of our Women Elders.

The first edition of Grandmothers and Grandmothering came out in October 2021. Find the book on Amazon at cpn.news/grandmothers.

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