Category: Water Quality

April manoomin Studies Water and Presents Posters

By , April 21, 2013
Students and teacher, Mentors and Scientists Meet at April manoomin Camp

Students and teacher, Mentors and Scientists Meet at April manoomin Camp

The study of water is important for all of us. 13 Moons and the manoomin project joined together today to learn more about water quality issues as well as present manoomin and science fair student posters.


The day began with a water blessing  and song. Speakers included Nancy Schuldt from FDLRM. She spoke about the water quality issues and projects happening on the reservation. She will be heading out to Washington DC to discuss further the FDL impact studies on water quality as it pertains to the mining in northern MN as well as the health of the St. Louis River Watershed. She commended the students on their work and includes the information gathered in her presentations.

We also heard from tribal group from Louisiana that will talk about the water quality issues they are experiencing in the Gulf in particular since the Katrina and the bp oil spill. They also talked about the loss of land as it pertains to global warming and the sea water rise. Considerable study is on going.

manoomin and 2013 science fair students presented their posters to the public. Community members asked questions of the students. It is a good way to demonstrate what we have learned this past year as well as consider what we need to study in the future. Raffles were held all afternoon to encourage students and the public to talk. Students gave anyone who asked them a question a raffle ticket.

IMG_3136IMG_3128IMG_3120Engineering college mentors, Wayne and AJ, designed an engineering challenge. Our goal was to construct a tower made of raw spaghetti noodles and marshmallows.  The design of the tower was to provide the  tallest, strongest and best designed -best looking tower.  Everyone participated and did well! It was a great day for all.




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


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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