Native Americans Part Of Cuyahoga River Celebration

Jun 21, 2019

Nicole Christian, Sharon Day and Chaz Jewett prepare for the river walk at the Cuyahoga River headwaters in Geauga County. [ideastream]

Fifty years ago this week the heavily polluted Cuyahoga River caught fire, an incident that garnered national attention and prompted calls to clean up America's waterways. 

The Cuyahoga has rebounded since 1969.  During a week of commemorations Native American Sharon Day led an ancient, ceremonial river walk.  Along with a small group of locals, the Ojibwe elder carried sacred water from the river's headwaters in Geauga County to the mouth at Lake Erie in Cleveland.  Dave DeOrea of member station WCPN in Cleveland has this portrait as the group  travelled about 100 miles carrying the water in a decorated bucket that added it's own distinctive sound.


Ojibwe elder Sharon "Singing Wolf" Day who led a 100-mile, 3-day river walk this week for the anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire. This story was produced by WCPN’s Dave DeOreo for Ohio Public Radio.