First Nations activists in Winnipeg held a traditional water ceremony on Wednesday to highlight the importance of protecting clean water.

The afternoon ceremony at Memorial Park launched "Water Wednesdays," a nine-week art project that will draw attention to what organizers say is the federal government's "reckless stewardship of our water resources."

The project is a call to action by the Idle No More movement, which held protests across the country earlier this year in opposition to the federal Conservative government's controversial omnibus budget legislation.

Protesters and First Nations leaders have said there was a lack of consultation on changes to the bill regarding environmental protection regulations.

The federal bill has since passed into law, but Idle No More organizers in Winnipeg say that won't stop them from calling for change.


A traditional water ceremony at Memorial Park on Wednesday afternoon launches Water Wednesdays, a weekly series of events running throughout the summer. (Megan Benedictson/CBC)

One organizer of Wednesday's event, Michael Champagne, told CBC News most people take access to clean drinking water for granted, but he has met Manitobans who don't have clean water in their own communities.

Champagne said Water Wednesdays will raise awareness of water, which he describes as a resource under threat by deregulation and resource development across Canada.