Posts tagged: Ojibwe

Gathering Stories of Bang Lake

By , November 25, 2012

 

1916 Bang Lake

Through the core a record of our history can be observed. Our study began on Friday night as Tom Howes, FDL Natural Resources introduced Bang Lake.  He shared data collected by Fond du Lac elders about the wild rice harvest back many years. We also looked at maps of the Fond du lac Reservation beginning in 1916 that demonstrated significate changes in the landscape.

Students began their own observations Saturday afternoon by cutting open the core collected that morning and making thier own observations. The two cores were noticeably different – one more dense than the other. Lowana Greensky led students through a discussion on the dating of core beginning in 1500/bottom of our core to 2012/present-top of our core.  Significant dates in history were identified along the length of the core – 1492 Columbus reaches North America;  1787 -1803 Northwest Territory; 1803 Louisiana Purchase; 1837 Michigan became a state; 1836, 1837,  1842, and 1854 Treaties between the United States and the Ojibwe bands in which  they ceded lands in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota but retained the  right to hunt, fish and gather on he lands they sold; 1848 Wisconsin becomes a state; 1858 Minnesota becomes a state;  1861–65 Civil War; and  1924 The Indian Citizenship Act.

Later that afternoon Louis Wise talked about growing up near Bang Lake on Perch Lake. Educated as a biologist Mr. Wise has worked with the DNR and FDL Natural Resources. He explained the role beavers and muskrats played in the wild rice. He told stories about his Grandma controlling the water level by opening and closing the damn. He told stories about sitting on his Dad’s shoulders and seeing nearly 400 muskrat houses on Perch Lake.

He descibed how wild rice needs abrupt oxygen, temperature and nutritional changes to grow. The water levels had to be brought down in January creating an open space below the ice/above the water. Come April the ice break up and drop down, creating waves (open water), allowing oxygen into the water earlier than other lakes. Also, because the water level was tended to be lower the sun would then  could reach the bottom, warming the seeds creating a temperature change. The seeds could then germinate.

Many discussion and review of all we had heard was had between student and staff alike. We hope to continue the discussion during each gathering to better understand our history with wild rice.

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

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.

gimikwenden ina?

By , July 12, 2010

manoomin-oct2013 072
Boozhoo!
What memories do you remember about wild ricing? What do you know about wild rice history on the Fond du lac Reservation? If you are willing to share your stories students involved with the manoomin project are interested to listen.

There are lots of ways to let us know what you are thinking about – click on the “comment” link found on this site, contact one of the students or teachers (see link to teachers) via email, call Holly Pellerin at 218-879-0757 or send a letter to Holly Pellerin at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College at 1201 14th St. Cloquet, MN 55720.   ~miigwech

How is Wild Rice Harvested?

By , March 14, 2010

How is it harvested?

Why is wild rice importation to the anishinaabe people?

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