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First Nations

The GREAT LAKES ODYSSEY Radio Hour – The River Is Lifeblood

theBorderline 28 August 2023 1875 128 4

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The Great Lakes Odyssey Radio Hour is broadcast on National Public Radio (WCMU-NPR)

e2.1/30/23 GREAT LAKES ODYSSEY Radio HourThe GLO Odyssey goes in search of the lifeblood that gives power to the Great Lakes and its dreams; it goes on a river cruise.

Nearly 5,000 rivers, tributaries and aquifers flow into the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, they are the lifeblood of the Great Lakes. Villages, towns and cities populate the lands drawing inspiration from the natural surroundings that infuses the local culture and folklore. The Lakes are connected, their history intertwined, their story shared. As life around the Great Lakes basin shapes in relation to its immediate environment the river can sing and dance yet still tell sad tales of abuse and lack of respect for the waters. The rivers, the blood that pumps life into the Great Lakes, ask the utmost respect to live always.

e2.1/30/23 GREAT LAKES ODYSSEY Radio Hour Music Credits

Title – Big Five Water
Artist/Composer – Ray Bonneville

Title – St. Mary’s River Fantasy
Album – Nocturnes
Artist/Composer – Rusty McCarthy

Title – River
Album – Watin
Artist/Composer – Aysanabee

Title – Concise
Album – Lunz 3
Artist/Composer – Tim Story & Hans-Joachim Roedelius

Title – Welcome Home
Album – Voices From The Gathering Place
Artist/Composer – Peter White

Title – The River
Album – Voices From The Gathering Place
Artist/Composer – Peter White

Title – Storm Track
Album – Superior
Artist – Dreyam

Title – I Am The River
Album – Nuclear Home
Artist – Hollowsage & The Three Mile Islanders

Title – Great Lake Love
Album – Nuclear Home
Artist – Hollowsage & The Three Mile Islanders

Title – Water Is Life
Album – Song Like A Seed
Artist/Composer – Sara Thomsen

Title – River Dream
Album – Song Like A Seed
Artist/Composer – Sara Thomsen

Title – Vermillion
Album – Lunz 3
Artist/Composer – Tim Story & Hans-Joachim Roedelius

This program is produced by Great Lakes Odyssey Radio Partners in venture with The Borderline.








What is the Great Lakes Odyssey Project?

Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Great Lakes Odyssey Project is a multi-national effort to strengthen and explore our relationship with the natural wonders known as the Great Lakes.

In this part of the project, we have created a multi-part audio series looking at the way the Great Lakes shape our lives, our livelihoods, our health and our culture.

50 years ago, folks in the media and elsewhere were ready to declare the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie “dead.”

The thought so appalled citizens in Canada and the United States, they forced their national governments to act.

Because, of course, the Great Lakes shape the life of both Canada and the United States. And, of course, the Great Lakes are a single system stretching from Duluth to Ottawa and down the St. Lawrence seaway. What happens to any of the Lakes will soon happen to the others.

So, the politicians of 50 years ago negotiated the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, “for the purpose of restoring, protecting and enhancing the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes basin.”

50 years later, we can see the agreement worked. We see more fish, cleaner water, and less pollution. Unlike the early settlers and colonials, who mostly saw the Lakes as a resource to tap, we now recognize, like the First Nations, the Lakes are part of our identity. They shape our relationships, our songs and celebrations of place, the way we eat, how we play, and what we make, or sell, or harvest.

50 years since the wake-up call of a burning river, Great Lakes Odyssey wants to learn how we live and love, hurt and restore the incredible gift which is the Great Lakes.

We will explore Great Lakes art and artistic expression, and meet the artists, writers, musicians who make it. We will also dip into Great Lakes history and lore – and learn from the people who have been here the longest and know it the best: The People of the Three Fires, the Anishinaabek.

On our Odyssey around the Great Lakes, we will also hear from people working to prevent poisonous algal blooms or stop the spread of invasive species. We will meet visionaries undoing decades of development that hardened shorelines, emptied marshes and wetlands, and destroyed critical spawning grounds. We will talk to people working to ensure all beings have access to pure drinking water.

Because none of us can live without pure drinking water.

In this wondrous place we call the Great Lakes, we know we are blessed by these Sweet Water Seas. We claim them as our H.O.M.E.S. as the emotionally accurate mnemonic says. They are Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior, and they are our HOMES.

As long as humans have lived in, and of and through the Lakes, people have told stories about them, sung about them, and gloried in this great gift of the long departed Ice Age. Left by glaciers thousands of years ago, they are the World’s storehouse of fresh water. If they are drained… or ruined… or damaged, they can never be replaced.

So, as we travel around the Great Lakes basin, we want to see how we are doing – what we are doing – how we’re feeling and what we’re learning as we try to live as lovers and restorers – and children and family – of the being whom the Anishinaabek call Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin, the five freshwater seas.

We hope to galvanize, inspire, and motivate you to strengthen, support and steward the Great Lakes to a beautiful and healthy future.

So please join us on this magical, dare we say “magical mystery tour” of the Great Lakes basin and Great Lakes culture.

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