World Water Day: Exploring Indigenous and Muslim Water Stories Through the Arts

Panel Discussion

World Water Day: Exploring Indigenous and Muslim Water Stories Through the Arts

Date: Sunday, March 24, 2024, 11 am (Water Ceremony) | 12 pm (Panel Discussion)
Price: $20 Regular | $18 Friends | $12 Students and Seniors
Tickets include same-day Museum admission.

Celebrate World Water Day at the Aga Khan Museum with a traditional Indigenous Water Ceremony and an insightful panel discussion that explores Indigenous and Muslim relationships with water through storytelling and the arts. This event is presented in partnership with the UNITAR Global Water Academy and York University.


World Water Day was declared by the United Nations to celebrate water and inspire action to tackle the global water crisis. It also supports the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.


Please note, the traditional Indigenous Water Ceremony is FREE to attend and will begin at 11 am in the Aga Khan Park.


Can't make it to the Museum in person? Register for the livestream.


Don't forget to stop by the Bellerive Room to experience a series of immersive activations that reflect on the sheer nature of water.
Learn more about the Artistic Activations



Elder Mona Stonefish
Elder Mona Stonefish is a doctor of traditional medicine and an international activist for peace as well as Indigenous, women’s, and disability rights. She is Senator of the Anishinaabemowin Teg – language preservation, a Keeper of Wisdom, and a Grandmother Water Walker.


Grandmother Helena Joanne Keeshig
Grandmother Helena Joanne Keeshig, known as Bzaunibikwe in Anishnaabe, is a Peaceful Water Woman and Water Walker.


Professor Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning
Professor Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning is a member of the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University. She is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and member of Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation.


Jessica Keeshig-Martin
A member of the Faculty of Education at York University, Jessica Keeshig-Martin is Anishnaabekwe, Wolf Clan and an elected Council member for the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. She is currently a PhD student at York University and her research focus is on Anishnaabe philosophies and practices in earth care-taking systems. Keeshig-Martin is also a Mother and a Water Walker.


Sashar Zarif
An internationally renowned performing artist, educator, and researcher, Sashar Zarif's work is steeped in the artistry and history of traditional, ritualistic, and contemporary dance and music of the Central Asian, Middle Eastern and North African regions, focusing on the Sufi and Shamanic practices within Muslim societies and beyond.


Moderated by Dr. Sascha Priewe, Director of Collections & Public Programs at the Aga Khan Museum, and Dr. Usman Khan, Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at the Lassonde School of Engineering, York University.


Introduced by Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis, Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum, Dr. Amir Asif, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at York University, and Alex Mejia, Director of the Division of People and Social Inclusion at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, with concluding remarks by Professor Sapna Sharma, member of the Department of Biology at York University, Inaugural Director of the UNITAR Global Water Academy, and York Research Chair in Global Change Biology.


UNITAR Global Water Academy


The UNITAR’s Global Water Academy (UGWA) is a multi-stakeholder collaboration between academic institutions and private sector partners, with York University (Canada) as Academic Lead. The Global Water Academy tackles diverse aspects of the water sustainability crisis through training, capacity-building, research, and knowledge mobilization, ultimately to inform decision-making and public policy.


The UGWA will foster training and capacity development, empower community-based networks, weave traditional knowledge, and co-create innovative sustainable water solutions to ensure equitable access to water for all. Through building community-based networks and co-creating innovative solutions, UGWA aims to further develop a dialogue that contributes to identifying capacity gaps that hinder the effective implementation of SDG 6 targets.


Workshops and Family Activities
Celebrating Spring

March 23–24, 2024

World Water Day: Artistic Activations

March 11–March 24, 2024

Live Performance
Dancing on the Roof of Heaven: A Spring Tribute by Sashar Zarif

March 23, 2024

Presented in partnership with


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