Recipients of the 2014 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards were announced by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh on January 28. The Lake Winnipeg Water Walk was named 2014’s Champion of Sustainability.

“We are constantly striving to reduce our impact on the environment and it’s great to see those efforts supported with projects like these,” Mackintosh said. “I’d like to congratulate these award winners for the commitment they’ve shown to the challenge we have issued to all Manitobans. We all need to do our part and every little bit adds up to making a big difference.”

The Lake Winnipeg Water Walk, which raised public awareness of the threat to the long-term sustainability of Lake Winnipeg, involved more than 100 women trekking the 1,032-kilometre route from Norway House to Manigotagan along the shores of the lake. Led by Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair, the walk included women of all ages, including grandmothers and dedicated community volunteers. The walk is a traditional Anishinaabe ceremony led by women to pray, acknowledge, and heal the spirit that lives in life-giving water.

Other Excellence in Sustainability award winners included the University of Manitoba, for action on climate change, air quality, and energy efficiency; Swim Valley Sport Fishing Enhancement Inc., for sustainability in water and natural area stewardship; CleanFARMS, for sustainability in pollution prevention and products stewardship; Youth Encouraging Sustainability Winnipeg, for education for sustainability; the Town of Niverville, for innovation and research for sustainability; and ArtsJunction Winnipeg, for sustainable community.

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