The Water Song: Performed by the 2022 2nd-Grade Crew

Who are the Native people of the Sierra Nevadas? How did they survive long ago? What was important to them? Why is it important for people to know about the Native people of this area? How can we help pass along the legends of the Washoe?

These are questions that the second grade aimed to answer throughout our study of the Washoe, Piute, Maidu and Miwok tribes specifically. Throughout the spring, students explored the full circle of the Native peoples’ way of life and how they utilized their environment to survive and thrive. During their visit to Stewart Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Carson City, NV, our 2nd-Graders met a Native storyteller named Lorraine Martinez-Cook who sang the most beautiful song to the students. After asking a few questions about the song, they came to learn that the song was sung by Native people to honor the water, our most sacred resource, and that it did not contain words but tones that they felt the water could understand. The second graders were deeply touched (as were their teachers and parents!) and we felt inspired by Lorraine’s voice and the message of the water song. In learning and recording the water song, we now pass along the message of “mitake oyasin” which translates to “we are all related” and hope to inspire others to take care of our land, our water and our animals just as the Native people continue to do.

This Water Song was written to express loving gratitude for the water and raise the consciousness and connection with Mother Nature’s greatest gift.The vision was that millions of people, particularly women, would sing it in raising their own connection and awareness of the water they interact with daily even in the shower or at the sink. Our 2nd-Grade Diamond Wolf Crew learned this song at the Stewart Indian School in Carson City, NV. It is meant to be sung facing East, South, West and North.

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