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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

Vol 9 No 4, Monday April 22, 2013

Earth Day Issue:

Happy Earth Day

Mother Earth!

Today is Earth Day 2013. This week make some time to get out and celebrate the beauty, diversity and complexity of our life-giving and life-sustaining planet...

Enjoy and take care of our earth! She needs our love… She’s the only one we’ve got!

Us Quapaws are just completing our newest BIG CANOE... A 30 foot Cypress strip canoe tentatively known as “Grasshopper.” We’ll be out all week sharing the beauty of the Lower Mississippi Valley with 20 kids from the Environmental and Adventure School of Seattle.

Announcing the


Lower Mississippi River

Water Trail:

May 23-27

Memphis to Helena

June 5-10

Caruthersville to Memphis

June 19-23

Greenville to Vicksburg

We have room for more paddlers on the Rivergator trips! Write for more info. Go to

for an idea of what we’re creating along the Lower Mississippi River, and join us in making it come to life!

The Mark River Blog

Delta Spring

The rains seem to last throughout the month of April in the Delta as the Mississippi River and its tributaries rise above their muddy banks, refilling the wetlands and estuaries needed during the breeding season for many amphibians and reptiles.

The cypress trees are submerged beneath their knees and great blue herons stealthily stalk the shallows eating small fish and invertebrates. Turtles crowd every log, while swarms of migrating birds stop their migration back north to feast on aerators of the saturated soil. Harmless water snakes are still lethargic as they leave winter dens. The cycle of life is in full throttle.

Today is a beautiful day.

The Mighty Quapaws attended Naturefest at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Mississippi April 6. Then we will be in Clarksdale, at the Mississippi Juke Joint Festival. Musicians and fans are already filling up the parks and river banks with tents. We are looking forward to listening to great music and signing up new River Citizens from all over the country.

With the help of two master carpenters, Seth from Boston and Josh from New York, we were able to construct the shell of a canoe in 12 days. Strong strips of cypress have been brought together to form the beautiful 30ft. canoe.

Sometimes I sit back and wonder, “How does John Ruskey know these people?” Through teamwork and the willingness to share knowledge, love, and passion with the next generation, the Quapaw’s have learned a skill of a lifetime.

Thanks brothas!

Spring has always been a symbol of a fresh start and new beginnings. We begin this year with a new canoe, a new experience creating it together and a fresh joy in sharing it with others.

It’s also no doubt that spring is an exciting time for the Mississippi River. Living Lands and Waters are back at it again applying their stewardess to the river, cleaning it with determination, humor and a strong moral compass.

This year too our 1 Mississippi team is stronger than ever. This is our year. We are set to accomplish our goal of signing and creating a strong contingent of River Citizens to protect, preserve, and promise the health of our River is our priority and essential to future generations.

Become a River Citizen today!

Mark River
Quapaw Canoe Company, Mighty Quapaw Youth Leader
1 Mississippi Southern Region Intern

For photos and additional links, go to the new 1mississippi website:

Ojibwe Elder Sharon Day

is walking the length of the

Mississippi River

Sharon Day passed through Clarksdale on Friday April 19th walking down legendary Highway 61 with a prayer stick held high above her head… What a great honor for all of us along the great valley of the Lower Mississippi River to be blessed by her courage & generosity!

Walking the Mississippi River for Clean Water

Ojibwe Elder , Sharon Day has begun a spiritual journey walking the length of the Mississippi River "to call attention to water quality issues for all of Mother Earth's waters." Sharon began her walk on March 1st at the beginning of the Mississippi River. She is carrying a copper pale of water from Lake Itasca, Minnesota at the headwaters of the Mississippi to the mouth in south Louisiana. Sharon will carry the bucket of clean water from the origin of the Mississippi until she mixes it back into the river some 1,200 miles from the start.

The Lower Mississippi River flows alongside Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana and provides drinking water to millions of people! Lend your support for this critical resource and all of Mother Earth's waters by supporting Sharon on her walk.

Are you a caretaker of Mother Earth's Waters?

Walk with Sharon along her journey, sign up here

Follow the journey on Facebook and see her location (updated daily) here.

Hear more about Sharon's journey and the Annual Mother Earth Water Walks in her interview on

Read more at : Indian Country Today Media Network

Thanks to Paul Orr, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper for this story. Go to LEANWEB.ORG