Category: Fish

Summer 2014

By , July 13, 2014

IMG_6432Our final camp in our study of manoomin was a transitional time. Most of the original students and mentors had moved on allowing new students to join gidakiimanaaniwigamig teachers and staff. Throughout the week students participated in hands on learning, group work skills, individual skills and writing. We travelled to UMD where we took a guided nature walk through the Bagley nature Center as well as climbed the large indoor rock wall.

The highlight of the week was when we travelled to GLIFWC/Odanah and then the Madeline Island. We were reminded of our connection to and the importance of Madeline Island.

“According to the teachings of the Anishinaabe people it was the sacred Megis Shell that first guided the people to the rich regions of the Great Lakes. The Megis Shell was last seen near Madeline Island, which was one of the settling points for the tribal people migrating from the eastern shores of the continent.

The Anishinaabe were semi-nomadic people living in small bands. They followed seasonal paths to traditional hunting, fishing, and gathering grounds where they harvested deer, game, fish, maple sugar, berries, and wild rice. Lake Superior, or Gitchi (big) Gummi (water), and the surrounding land were bountiful sources of food. Lake Superior’s waters yielded lake trout, whitefish and sturgeon. It is no wonder that several bands established villages on the shores of the lake in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada. Gitchi Gummi was a bountiful source of food. (GLIFWC also supports a local fishery, visited previously by gida students. This fishery not only sells fish commercially but the waste product as organic plant food.)

As Europeans pushed into the Great Lakes region, the Anishinaabe people used fish to trade with French and
English outposts. Fish soon became one of the mainstays in the diets of the early fur traders. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Lake Superior’s fishery faced a growing number of non-Indian commercial fishermen who used new technology to efficiently take fish from Lake Superior in large numbers.” (http://www.glifwc.org/publications/pdf/LakeSuperiorIndianFishery.pdf)

IMG_6472IMG_6549Students were reminded of their history and encouraged to journal not only their new knowledge but discuss their concerns and ideas related to topics presented such as sulfide mining, the Sandy Lake Tragedy, treaty rights and education.

They worked in multi-age small groups on building (and flying!) rockets. They designed Ojibwe symmetrical glyphs for the journal covers and wrote in their journals through out the week. teachers/college mentors read each students journals and wrote back.

Considerable time was spent studying the water quality found in the St. Louis River at Jay Cooke State Park. “RiverWatch” water study activities taught students how to accurately collect water samples, look for bugs and identify them – specific bugs signify the health of the water. Students drew the bugs to better understand them.

A geology study of the rocks found along the St. Louis also provided students with a better understanding of our land. Keys were used to determine the rocks found. Students again were able to work individually as well as in small groups.

We visited Duluth’s Barnes & Nobles where students each chose a book to be purchased for them to read during our many “road trips” and before “lightsout”/bedtime.

IMG_6611IMG_6616The culmination of the week were groups presentations on the weeks activities given to family. Each student prepared statements based on their writing and participation. The program was excellent!

We had a wonderful time getting to know each other better as well as make new friends from across the area. We look forward to seeing each other again in September!

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.

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

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