What is the purpose of this site?

This site is dedicated to creating a circle of storytelling around the Grand River.  Our circle is animated by two big questions:

“What does the Grand River mean to you?”

“What do you mean to the Grand River?”

Where did this idea come from?

Philip Martin started talking with organizers of the All Nations Grand River Water Walk in June, 2020 about creating a platform for storytelling about the Grand River. Storytelling is an important way that we can work towards the Water Walk goal of “honouring the water.” By hearing each others’ stories we will have a better understanding of the importance of the Grand River in our midst.

This storytelling circle is not officially part of the All Nations Grand River Water Walk. The Water Walk, however, supports the idea of this storytelling circle and shares information about it through its newsletters and mailing lists.

Philip Martin is the administrator of this storytelling circle. Other interested people are welcome to become part of the administrative team.

Who is this site for?

This site is for about a million people ~ anyone in the Grand River Watershed. There are various levels at which people can participate. Lots of folks will read this site and enjoy the stories. Many people may comment on featured articles, or write short vignettes on various themes. Some people may contribute larger pieces of work (writing, visual arts, photography, audio recordings) as featured stories.

If you know of someone who has a unique and deep relationship with the Grand River, please help us get connected.

We invite everyone to participate as much as possible. Let’s make this a lively and broad-based community that reflects the diversity of our love and concern for the river. And someday maybe we’ll get together in person and tell some of these stories. Keep your eyes open for announcements about this possibility.

Featured Storytellers

Here are the people who have created “Featured Stories” for this storytelling circle.

Philip Martin

I love nothing more than to connect kids to the natural world around them. As an elementary teacher (now retired) and more recently as the founder of Cycling Into The Future, my goal has been to give children the tools they need to love the world in which they find themselves, and when necessary, to change it for the better. Over the past ten years my experience of the Grand River has shaped and changed me deeply. I’d love to hear your stories of the river.

John De Boer

I am a retired welder and metal sculptor. I enjoy exploring the great outdoors, photography, and writing about nature and wild life. My dream is to give back to the beautiful Grand River Watershed which has given me so much over so many years. We have a river of junk running through the Region of Waterloo and I want to be part of a movement to get it cleaned up. I want to effect change.

Shirley Lynn Martin

I have helped organize and walk in the All Nations Grand River Water Walk for the past 2 years, and continue to support the 2020 water walk.  As a child I played in the Conestogo River and have vivid memories, from the mid 70’s and more recently, of the Grand River flooding in very powerful ways!  I love to take my dogs to these water shores. I take daily walks to see the birds and eagles that enjoy the sanctuary of the Conestogo River and Grand River.  In my work life, I offer life and spiritual development coaching, Reiki healing and whole life therapies, where I use the lessons of the water walk and the Grand River to help people restore balance and meaningful flow  in their lives.   

Mary Anne Caibaiosi

Boozhoo, Greetings from Nodin Ikwe, Wind Spirit Woman, bear clan Anishnaabe kwe, from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Manitoulin Island. My English name is Mary Anne Caibaiosai. I am an Anishnaabe woman.  In 2017, I was honoured to join Josephine Mandamin and others during the “For the Earth and Water Walk 2017” which began in Duluth, Minnesota in April and ended at Matane, Quebec in July.  The walk was ceremonial and transformative in nature and since then I am being led to walk for the Grand River in this same way.   I believe the nature of the walk will re-connect people to the land, to all of Creation in ways that will teach respect for all of these beings; that water has spirit and gives us and our community life. 


We’d love for you to become a featured storyteller. What unique perspective would you like to contribute to this storytelling circle? Let’s talk and make it happen.

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