Water Quality

By , August 26, 2012

Miner’s Lake outside Ely. Sulfide level 21

Lake Superior south shore. Sulfide level 0

Wherever we traveled students took water samples to track the health of the water. Based on our continued study of the St. Louis River watershed through River Watch activities. Tests were conducted to determine dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrates, phosphates, and biochemical oxygen demand.

Miner’s Lake when it was an active mine supplied  WWI  and WWII with iron ore. Currently the pit is about 140 feet deep. Water naturally filled the hole in once the mining was done. Today it is a great fishing lake.

 

Invasive Species – Great Lakes Superior Aquarium

By , August 26, 2012

Invasive Species Game

Terminology

Educational displays at Aquarium

Keeping our water and land free of invasive species takes all of us doing our part. Considering what we dump into the waterways and ground before hand can make all the difference.

Visiting the Great Lakes Aquarium helped  us learn more about native vs. invasive fresh water aquatic plants and fish. Through games students simulated how aquatic invasive plants and fish change the natural balance. They either eat too much of a plant needed by another native fish or grow too fast overtaking other plants that would typically grow in that environment. Any change affects everything. Eventually the native species can not compete and either die away or move.

It was particularly interesting to learn that gold fish dumped into a small pond negatively affects the pond tremendously. Goldfish eat a lot, changing the vegetation and ability for other animals to breed and grow. If you have a goldfish and are unable to care for it it is best to give it to someone else to take care of rather than a near by pond. A pond near to UMD had to be drained completely , cleaned and refilled because of the  of gold fish population taking over the native species and the connection of the pond stream feeding into Lake Superior.

Bad River Fishery

By , August 26, 2012

Release Tanks at Fishery, Bad River Reservation, Odanah, WI

About 2,000 Coastal Brook Trout are raised from eggs and released when a year old into rivers and streams.

The health of our water and land was part of each lesson and activity. While visiting in Odanah we toured the reservations fishery. The fishery raises Walleye and Coastal Brook Trout from eggs for up to 7 years and then releases them. Each tank held a specific species and age of fish.

Lake Superior shore near Ashland

We also spent time swimming in Lake Superior. As expected it was cold and refreshing.

 

Wing Young Huie “Chalk Talk” Photography

By , August 26, 2012

Our first night together we looked at the work of Wing Young Huie. Mr. Huie , born in Duluth currently lives and works in the Twin Cities as a photographer. He has spent a considerable amount of time asking himself the very questions we asked ourselves through this activity. Based on the University Ave Project in Minneapolis Huie’s photographs confront many divisive social issues, such as cultural bias, immigration, religion, and social disconnection.

Contrasting points of views are engaged when viewing Huie’s  photographs demonstrating how what we perceive to be true may be open to interpretation.  By asking “What do you see?” a dialogue is facilitated before revealing the stories behind the photographs. Participating in activities such as this in a safe environment such as camp allows deeper discussion into the complexities of cultural and personal perceptions.

How are we impacted by the daily consumption of countless images created by marketing forces, the media, and popular entertainment? How can we differentiate our authentic selves from idealized realities? Do we become what we see? In other words: How do photographs form us?

Huie’s photographs allowed students to better see and understand their own perceptions of themselves as well as of  others. Through participation in the “Chalk Talk” lesson Huie developed for his own photography work along University Ave in Minneapolis students interviewed each other. Choosing another manoomin student they may not have known too well students asked open ended questions provided and interviewed each other.  They asked the  following questions:

1 Describe you life in one word.
2.What advise would you give to a stranger new to the area?
3.What is your favorite word?
4. How do you think other see you? What don’t they see?
5. How has race affected you?
6. Describe an incident that changed you.
7. What are the hopes and fears of a person your age?

It proved to be a welcomed activity, uncomfortable at times but good for us to do together.

niibin 2012 – Bad River to Bois Forte

By , August 26, 2012

Students visited Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC- Odanah, WI) to learn more about Ojibwe language and culture, current tribal management of the water and land uses and reacquaint and reestablish ourselves as needed concerning our treaty rights as Indian people to hunt and gather.

 

It was a week of connecting what we know about the areas in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan where Ojibwe people have lived for generations. We added to our knowledge by traveling southeast to the Bad River Reservation in Odanah, WI and as far north as the Bois Forte Reservation in northern Minnesota. Between the bus rides students studied the geology of the land, collected water samples for testing, swam in lakes, read books, wrote reflections/took notes and enjoyed each other as family and friends.

At the Bois Forte Museum students walked through displays describing  the history of the Ojibwe people traveling east to the place where the wild rice grew. Government boarding schools and traditional life clashed bringing with it continued years of struggle for generations to follow. Loss of language and culture, family groups broken and a lack of understanding between peoples concerning land and water use contributed to our current state and the established reservation system of government. Elders spoke about what we have been through and encouraged the young people to become knowledgeable to carry on.

“Indians lives in family groups and villages. We were not identified by a particular place and never imagined that land could belong to individuals. When the settlers arrived the government gave us names according to where our villages happened to be. They put us on reservations, forbade out traditions and ignored our reverence for the land.

I like to describe the Ojibwe and Fur Trade partnership as an  “economic cooperation”. Indians became part of the newly created global industrial  economy as producers, consumers, and traders. They were participants in that world even before many Europeans.” 
~Carl Gawboy, Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe

By , August 26, 2012

manoominlogo_1inchdagwaagin2012 Our study of the past, present and future of wild rice on the Fond du Lac Reservation continues into year 4. Fond du Lac Natural Resources and the University of Minnesota LacCore continue as partners with gidakiimanaaniwigamig and area schools in Cloquet Public Schools, St. Louis County Public School District, Greenway Public Schools and Duluth Public Schools to better understand and our watershed and land use.

~miigwech to Charlie Nahgahnub for the logo design

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