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A journey of love and gratitude

Finding ways, big and small, to connect people with our waterbodies.
We are the waterbodies that gift and sustain our lives.
Kitchissippi (Ottawa River) gifts me life.
I am Kitchissippi. 



My name is Stephanie Woodworth. I am a settler and uninvited guest on this territory. I am English on my dad’s side and German on my mom’s side. I was born and raised in Dryden, Ontario until I moved to Tkaronto, the Haudenosaunee word for "where there are trees in the water". I currently live on the territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people in Odawa (Ottawa), meaning "to trade". I acknowledge this land is the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg. I am grateful to live, work and play in the community, on this territory, and for the life that the both land and water provide and sustain me with.

Indigenous Affirmation Statement (University of Ottawa)

"Ni manàdjiyànànig Màmìwininì Anishinàbeg, ogog kà nàgadawàbandadjig iyo akì eko weshkad. Ako nongom ega wìkàd kì mìgiwewàdj.
Ni manàdjiyànànig kakina Anishinàbeg ondaje kaye ogog kakina eniyagizidjig enigokamigàg Kanadàng eji ondàpinangig endàwàdjin Odàwàng.
Ninisidawinawànànig kenawendamòdjig kije kikenindamàwin; weshkinìgidjig kaye kejeyàdizidjig.
Nigijeweninmànànig ogog kà nìgànì sòngideyedjig; weshkad, nongom; kaye àyànikàdj."

"We pay respect to the Algonquin people, who are the traditional guardians of this land. We acknowledge their longstanding relationship with this territory, which remains unceded.
We pay respect to all Indigenous people in this region, from all nations across Canada, who call Ottawa home.
We acknowledge the traditional knowledge keepers, both young and old.
And we honour their courageous leaders: past, present, and future."

Water is life





PhD Candidate

I completed my Bachelor's of Kinesiology at the University of Toronto (2016) and my Master's of Science in Exercise Sciences at the University of Toronto (2016-2018). For my MSc research, I helped gather, map, and harvest Water Walkers' stories from 2003 to 2018 for the Mother Earth Water Walk public archive at the Anishinabek Discovery Centre, the new home of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG). The archive will be used as a teaching tool for the Anishinabe Studies and Anishinabemowin programs at the university, as well as for the public to learn more about the Water Walks and the inspiring work for water led by Grandmother Josephine Mandamin.

I am currently completing my PhD research with Dr. Sonia Wesche in the Department of Geography at the University of Ottawa. With Northern Water Futures, Waterlution, and community partners, I am exploring on-the-land education camps in the Northwest Territories that bring together Elders and scientists to engage, empower, and educate Indigenous youth from the North. I am focusing on what the youth want and need from the camps and how to cater the camps to the youth's desires and interests.

While on the Waterlution's 2017-18 Great Waters Challenge Youth Advisory Board, I had the privilege of helping youth teams discover water stories in their communities. I hosted multiple water workshops and webinars for youth teams and shared my knowledge and experiences as a participant (and winner) of the 2016-2017 GWC. It was so rewarding to see their water celebrations after our workshops together. All the students had incredible ideas, enthusiasm, dedication, and determination. They inspire me!

As a member of the World Youth Parliament for Water (2018-2021), I promise to continue to help support and connect with the global water community. We have much to learn from one another's water challenges, and together, we can do anything!

Please reach out to me if you want to find out more about my research, my general love and passion for water, or anything related to the Great Waters Challenge! I am happy to speak with you via email, telephone or we can meet up in Odawa for coffee. 

And, as my Grandmother always says, "Be kind".  

MSc Thesis - Decolonizing Autoethnography: Where's the Water in Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is a multi-disciplinary field studying the human body in relation to movement, and, yet, water is largely taken-for-granted. This is astonishing, considering ~70% of the human body is comprised of water and access to (reliable, safe, clean) water fundamentally shapes human lives. Furthermore, identities, geographies, histories, societies, cultures, economics, and politics have been, and continue to be, shaped by water. Therefore, to enhance decolonial water education in kinesiology, this thesis is presented in three “braided streams”. First, I critically reflect on my settler colonial history and complicity in relation to water issues impacting First Nations. Next, I critique kinesiology’s research, teaching, and practices to establish “where’s the water in kinesiology?” Last, with consent and support from Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and Joanne Robertson, I am contributing to an archive and story map of the Mother Earth Water Walks (2003-2018), an Anishinabe ceremony that nourishes sacred relationships between peoples and waters.


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