Category: manoomin

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

Phytoliths

By , March 12, 2012

The study of phytoliths in clay pots became more understandable as students made their own clay coil pots with white earthenware clay, bisque fired them and then completed a final firing at the campfire during camp. Other exploration to assist students in identifying phytoliths under the microscope were also done using oil based clay and drawing.  We hope to cook in the pots during 2013 camp.

Macrofossils

By , March 12, 2012

  Students worked at FDLTCC lab with LacCore and manoomin teachers  to determine the macro-fossils found in Band Lake. Their poster was presented in Montana at the Geo-Science Alliance Conference and to the leadership on the Fond Du Lac Reservation.

biboon 2012

By , March 11, 2012

Camp participants

biboon 2012 Winter  January through March camps were spent preparing to tell the story of this year’s study of manoomin. LacCore and manoomin worked together to complete three poster which will be presented mid-March in Montana at the Geo-Science Alliance as well as in April to the Fond du Lac Reservation leaders.

Continued study in the FDLTCC lab with LacCore scientists and grad students involving macro-fossils, phytoliths and diatoms. University students worked with manoomin students working on paper engineering 3D constructions and wind power studies.

Diatoms

By , March 9, 2012

  Students spent a good amount of time looking through microscopes identifying diatoms using a key found in Third Lake. Visually the diatoms are quite beautiful. Drawing them also is a good way to remember what to look for under the microscope.

Phytoliths and Campfires

By , February 6, 2012

Nightly campfire during our third year of study with LacCore has provided opportunity to walk through the process of making a clay pot, firing it, and hopefully using it as a utilitarian piece of pottery. Clay is one of the art  forms that lasts overtime allowing years of use by the maker as well as a wealth f information to scientists later on.

Cone-shaped sandy paste vessel from a Mossy Grove site in Polk County, Texas. Whole Mossy Grove pots are rare. TARL archives.

They tried to form there pots in the traditional cone shape. Pots were then bisque fired to cone 06 and then returned to the next camp where the pots were fired in the campfire. The smoke and wood ash  created beautiful greys and blacks in the clay. Olive oil was brushed into the hot pots curing the clay. Curing the ceramics we hope will keep food from sticking to the clay.

Geo Cashing in Ojibwe

By , February 5, 2012

Students participated in geo cashing! Teachers prepared a course in the woods outside at the Cloquet Forestry using GPS coordinates. Students had to decipher the Ojibwe math problem to find the correct coordinates to ultimately find the hidden prize.

James liked the running around with Patrick. James Paunu enjoyed the challenge of using the GPS itself. Even though it was difficult, being out in the winter night sky was great. Bob was firing the clay pots in the fire (curing with olive oil) in hopes of getting them ready to cook wild rice in them next camp.
Ojibwe Numbers

1 = bezhig
2 = niizh
3 = niswi
5 = niiwin
5 = naanan
6 = ingodwaaswi
7 = niizhwaaswi
8 = ishwaaswi
9 = zhaangaswi
10 – midaaswi
11-19 Examples:

16 = ashi  ingodwaaswi                        16 = and (ten)  six

15 = ashi  naanan                                  15 = and (ten)  five

Numbers 201-219, 301-319, etc. Examples:
201 = niizhwaak  bezhig                     201 = number root two hundred    one

513  = naanwaak   ashi   niswi           513 = number root five   hundred  and (ten)  three

Numbers 220-299, 320-399, etc. Examples:
231 = niizhwaak  nisimidana   ashi   bezhig
213 = number root two hundred    number root three  tens  and  one

487 – niiwaak  ishwaasimidana  ashi  niizhwaaswi
487 = number root four  hundred  number root eight  tens and seven

Macroinvertebrate Tag

By , February 4, 2012

Students spent time learning about the transparency water and dissolved oxygen in specific areas (Hwy 11, Hwy 7, Jay Cock and Chambers Grove). Each place a specific level that told them if the water was healthy or not. All spots checked were very good.

Water samples were taken and invertebrates were counted. Over time the invertebrates that were tolerate to pollutants grew in number. That’s bad. The invertebrates that were sensitive to pollution started to die off – also bad.

Each student was then ID as either a stone fly, caddis fly, mayfly, a scud, or a blood worm. Students lined up and on the mark “go” ran from one side to the other side of the field. The person who was “it” who represented pollution. If they tagged one of the invertebrates  the invertebrate became a “bloodworm”. A bloodworm is a symbol of polluted waters. It took only three or four runs across the field to shake out the “waters” showing how the pollution grows fast and leaves a negative impact.

niibin 2011 GLIFWC Visit – Bad River Reservation, Odanah WI

By , June 14, 2011

GLIFWC stands for Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  Our first presentation was by Peter David, a wildlife biologist who studies and manages manoomin.  His presentation was an overview of manoomin and the role GLIFWC has in managing it.  Wild rice is an annual aquatic grass that grows well at depths of 0.5-3 ft in water that is not too acidic or dark-stained in an organic-rich substrate.  It prefers water that changes depth some annually and slow moving water.  We learned that one reason it prefers these conditions partially because otherwise the perennial plants will take over.  The big seed variety of wild rice only occurs in the MN, Western WI, and Hudson Bay drainage areas.  Wild rice grows naturally in other areas, but it has smaller seeds.  Wild rice is great healthy eating, but also has huge cultural and ecological benefits too.  We learned about the treaties and how the right to harvest rice falls under these treaties.  Also, we reviewed harvesting techniques, both past and present. GLIFWC has five goals related to wild rice: abundance monitoring, harvest monitoring, restoration, public information and education, and research.  Mostly we discussed abundance monitoring.  GLIFWC is responsible for ceded territory that is off-reservation.  The data collected is from this area.  We learned about how Brown Spot disease can wipe out entire lakes during unusually warm seasons.  The abundance graph of rice over the past 15 years or so has high and low spots.  Factors that influence the abundance of rice over a large area are the four-year cycle of abundance on a particular lake, temperature and weather conditions, disease, and water level conditions. When the abundance of rice falls off for more than two years, scientists and GLIFWC may study the lake to try to restore the rice population.  We learned about some case studies where beaver dams, man-made dams, and carp eating the rice were problems. Sometimes lakes need to be reseeded, but first they try to restore the local seeds.  Genetic variability of wild rice is a future area of research. Next, we talked to Wesley about language and culture projects.  We learned about Inaadiziwin, an interactive DVD with traditional hunting, gathering, and fishing with language and culture.  We decided as a group that spear fishing looks really interesting.  They are working on a new project interviewing elders.  We will be doing something similar with our project, so this was a good connection to make.  Another ranger spoke too about the importance of getting kids out doing traditional activities, especially since there is less interest and the elders are getting older.  He made us aware of internships related to science, but also law enforcement and firefighting. Finally, we watched a short video about treaty rights.  One interesting thing we learned was the only treaties that ensured hunting, fishing, and gathering rights off-reservation is in our area and in the NW US.

Manoomin students talk with Dr.Pastor about UMD’s Wild Rice Study

By , June 12, 2011

 Manoomin students visited the University of Duluth’s Agricultural Farm where Dr. Pastor and colleagues are conducting wild rice experiments. The initial study is observing the 4 year “boom & bust” cycle of wild rice growth as it relates to the nitrogen levels found in the lakes.  The researchers control the experiment by leaving or removing the spent hay and leaving or removing plants.  Some variables, like water level, are kept the same while others are monitored.  Examples of monitored variables are water chemistry, number of plants produced in a year, and the total weight of the spent hay at the end of the season.

The newest experiment is studying the affect of sulfur on wild rice growth. The study has been going on for two years and is now expanded for another 4-6 more years with larger samples of wild rice growing.  Sulfur levels of between 5mg/L and 300mg/L will be controlled as the wild rice grows over time. It is their goal to better answer the questions raised by the current legislature and sulfide mining companies concerning levels of sulfur in the water. Current law is based on an observational from 1940 which found that if sulfur levels were greater 10 mg/L the wild rice was not thriving or was not present.

Students are conducting their own study of the water along the St. Louis River, similar to the 1940 study. They hope to record water chemistry study including sulfur as it relates to the observed growth of wild rice growth along the river. Their data will be posted here once compiled.

Minnesota EPA Protection of Wild Rice

Protect Our Manoomin blog

Minnesta Public Radio reports about Dr. Pastor UMD Wild Rice Study and Sulphide Mining

Summary of Wild Rice Study – Pastor/UMD, Minnesota DNR

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