MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 18 FALL 2017 • MANOOMINIKE • Manoominike Gets High-Tech at the Duluth Children’s Museum By Paula Maday, Staff Writer Duluth, Minn.—A new exhibit at the Duluth Children’s Museum focuses on bringing Ojibwe language and culture into the museum in an interactive way. Manoominoccupiesthebackpartofthesecondfloorofthemuseum.Themain attraction is a wiigiwaam structure that houses a motion game called Manoom- inike. The game responds to movement, guiding children through various motions associated with harvesting and processing manoomin (wild rice). These motions include knocking, roasting, jigging, and winnowing. At the start of each step, a word to describe the motion appears on screen and is said aloud in Ojibwemowin. Next, an on-screen figure begins the motion, which the children have to follow. The motion must be continued for quite some time before that step is considered complete, mimicking the hard work and time it takes to harvest and process wild rice. Once all steps are completed, a final move- ment has the children raise their arms to the sky in thanks to their ancestors, who are represented via the northern lights. During my family’s time in the wiigiwaam, a museum guide was present to explain the different steps in manoominike, while my 5-year old did the work. This was extremely helpful, as I’m not sure a child who just stumbled into the wiigiwaam would understand exactly what they were doing or why, unless they or a parent read the introductory text panel. I did try to jump in at one point so my son and I could do the motions together, but unfortunately the motion sensors are positioned to react to smaller beings. Traditional harvesting is often done together by families and passed down throughgenerations,soitwouldhavebeennicetobeabletoalsopracticeittogether this way interactively. Instead, my husband and I sat on benches lining the inner perimeter of the wiigiwaam to watch my son’s progress through the game. Outside the wiigiwaam, a canoe with life jackets, a push pole and knockers sit to one side. The canoe is surrounded by photographs of growing wild rice stalks to create a feeling of paddling through rice beds as you sit in the canoe. This free play area was very appealing to children. To the other side, a faux birch-bark pedestal with two iPads offers museum- goers the opportunity to play a free app called Mikan (“find it” in Ojibwemowin). The app features a matching game in which children match objects related to wild rice harvesting. The objects’ names are written and pronounced aloud in Ojibwemowin. The app can also be downloaded from the App Store to play at home on any tablet or smartphone. Rounding out the Manoomin exhibit are a few display cases with beadwork, books, and other cultural items, some related to wild ricing, some not. Overall, it was really fun to see the ways in which Ojibwe culture is being shared utilizing new technologies. My 5-year-old enjoyed playing Manoominike, but didn’t linger in the area; choosing instead to ascend an adjacent climbing structure, as boys will do. His attention will likely be more focused when he finally gets out on the water with his grandpa for ricing season. But for kids who have never been ricing and don’t know how it’s done or what it means to the Ojibwe, Manoomin is a delightful introduction. Manoomin is expected to be on exhibit for four or five years at the Duluth Children’sMuseum.Formoreinformation,contacttheDuluthChildren’sMuseum at (218) 733-7543. Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D, who designed and completed the art for both Manoominike and Mikan, is an award-winning writer, designer, and artist of Anishinaabe, Metis, and Irish descent. Her next project, Thunderbird Strike, will allow gamers to fly from the Tar Sands to the Great Lakes as a thunderbird protecting Turtle Island with searing lightning against the snake that threatens to swallow the lands and waters whole. Manoomin is on exhibit now at the Duluth Children’s Museum, located at 115 S 29th Ave West in Duluth, Minnesota. (P. Maday photo) A look inside: 5-year old Everett Maday jigs the rice following the movements on an interactive screen located inside the wiigiwaam. (P. Maday photo) including tribal governments. Included in the plan will be: contact information of responders and descriptions of their roles in a spill response, maps, photos and descriptions of discrete segments of the entire river, including access points, loca- tional data of sensitive areas, locations available for setting up command centers, along with information on response strategies that would most effectively contain spillage in particular areas. Following the completion of this plan, UMRBA will likely be developing spill response plans for other rivers. Staff at UMRBA is also available to share its approachtodevelopingspillresponseplans.MuchofthedatacompiledbyUMRBA is publically available. Spill response plans can be developed by individuals or groups with familiarity to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and an ability to bring experts and local responders to the table. level of soil and placed them in coded zip lock bags for categorization and further processing at the GLIFWC office. Samples were then cut and dehydrated at a low temperature until dry. After the samples were ground, we sent them to Denmark where they will be analyzed later in August. Togetherwiththecollectionsofbrackenfernfiddleheadsamples,wecollected soil samples from each site, identified the general types of soil (dirt, clay, dark earth), and placed samples into a coded container to identify collection sites. In late summer, soil samples will be tested to determine pH levels, helping researchers better understand the growing conditions of the bracken fern from each sample. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this research and data collec- tion on bracken fern fiddleheads. I feel as though I extended my learning about waagaaginonapersonallevel,broadeningmyunderstandingandexperienceabout the methods of academic research and scientific process. I am sure that the skills I’ve gained through the mentorship and guidance of the GLIFWC staff will con- tinue to inform future research I may do. And it’s something that I can share with my family as well, hopefully encouraging them to once again harvest waagaagin. Waagaagin (continued from page 16) Spill response plans (continued from page 14) in hunting for and processing deer. The documents can be found using the fol- lowing links: • • ThosewhoareinterestedinlearningmoreaboutwhereCWDhasbeendetected can access a current map here: • More information about CWD can be found at the following websites: • • • •,4579,7-186-81018_25806---,00. html CWD resources for hunters (continued from page 4)