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Gaa-Miininangoog Ganawenjigewin

1 August 2010

(Taking care of what was given to us by them)

By: Tom Howes, Gaa-Miininangoog Ganawenjigewin Naagaanizid

This is the time of year when many begin to think about manoominike (ricing). The Natural Resources Program really never stops thinking about manoomin (wild rice). Early in the spring, we are removing beaver dams, adjusting water control structures, and planning where we will be using our giishkizhige-jiimaanan (cutting boats).  This year like many in the past, we are removing ginoozhegoons (pickerel weed) from Perch Lake. As summer progresses we are able to see how successful last season’s restoration efforts really were. About 75% of the 116 acres that ginoozhegoons was removed from last year is full of manoomin. Some areas in the southern part of the lake will require a little more reseeding this fall. We are on track to remove approximately 100 acres of ginoozhegoons from the northern end of the lake this year, so next year head behind the minis (island) and up toward the narrows if you are looking for manoomin at Perch Lake. The wild rice this year is about two weeks early in its development. As I write this, the rice has been standing for three weeks+, and some plants are beginning to even flower.

Aerial view of restoration efforts at Perch Lake (taken 07/13/10). The dark green vegetation in the lake is pickerel weed; the light green vegetation is manoomin. If you look closely, you can see the equipment near shore towards the bottom of the photo.

Following is a brief update (as of late July) on wild rice conditions at Nagaajiwanaang, with the scale of conditions being- poor, fair, and good: Perch Lake fair rice density, some areas will be unriceable due to restoration underway; Jaskari Lake- fair; Rice Portage Lake- good; Deadfish Lake- good; Mud Lake– poor

There are many places outside the Reservation to harvest wild rice as well, and the 1854 Treaty Authority website is a good place for updates on manoomin conditions outside Nagaajiwanaang. As always we encourage Band members to bring someone new with them as they head out to harvest, strengthening our traditional ways.

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