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SPIRIT ISLANDWILD PLANTS Revitalizing Anishinaabe Spirit Remediation near Spirit Island NagaajiwanaangpresentlyknownasFondduLactheAnishinaabewordfor The place where the water stopsgets flat is in the process of working towards the remediation of a sacred stopping site for Anishinaabe people. Spirit Island is a sacred island located in the St. Louis River between Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is the sixth stopping place in the Anishinaabe migration story. In 2011 the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe purchased the ten-acre island and associated shoreline from a private resident for 150000. Since the purchase of the island it has been made a candidate for the National Register of Historic Places.Anishinaabe migration stories speak of this area as a stopping point where Midewin ceremonies were held andAnishinaabe people lived on the island before heading to the seventh stopping point on Madeline Island. By Dylan Jennings Staff Writer Nottoolongagoyoucleanedandputawayyoursugarbushsuppliesassembled your spearing and netting gear and hopefully enjoyed a bountiful harvest. Now with the spearing season done you are probably looking forward to the juicy sweet delights that the berry picking moon has to offer later this summer. However this seasonIurgeyoutolookaroundandtakenoteoftheotherdeliciousandtraditional foods that a grocery store cannot offer. Lets take a look at two plants you may have overlooked in the past that are fun to harvest and delicious to eat First up the wetland plant cattail Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia provides many edible parts. In the summer the shoots can be peeled then cooked like asparagus young cobs can be eaten like baby corn and the pollen can be used as a flour that tastes something like almond flour. Ten cattail shoots 190 grams provide about 50 calories and packs in 10 of your daily needs for iron calcium and folate and more than 30 of your dietary fiber needs based on a 2000 calorie diet Next in mid to late summer be on the lookout for juneberries Amelanchier alnifolia The fruit looks and tastes like blueberries but have a hint of almond flavor that make them irresistible. They provide almost twice as much iron and potassium as blueberries and more protein than other berries. All summer long and into fall you can harvest all sorts of wild plants and bring them home for a delicious and traditional dinner. If you are interested here is a short list to kickstart your personal edible wild plant research dandelions sweet fern wintergreen sunchoke acorns smooth or staghorn sumac wapato wild mushrooms and much more. Harvesting wild foods can be an enjoyable way for the whole family to incorporate tradition into your summer activities but there are some important things to remember Respect and honor the traditional foods you are harvesting by first putting down asemaa tobacco and offering thanks before you harvest. Anishinaabe are known as great stewards of the land. Keep that tradition alive by taking only what you need. Remember there are other hungry relatives that rely on those resources too Plant identification can be tricky. Take someone with you that knows the plants and only eat foods you can 100 correctly identify. If you say I think this is then dont eat it. When trying a food for the first time eat only a little and see how you feel over the next 24 hours. You never know if you are allergic. Just remember as the harvester it is your responsibility to know where you can harvest what you can harvest and to correctly identify the plant. Check out GLIFWCs website for the updated Gathering Regulation Summary httpglifwc.orgRegulationsGatheringandRice_91614.pdf Happy harvesting Editors Note GLIFWCs Mino Wiisinidaa Lets Eat Good Traditional Foods for Healthy Living cookbook features recipes for traditional Anishinaabe foods such as summer squash soup with fresh herbs maple baked lentils and sumac berry ade. The cookbook is a culmination of a three-year project consisting of interviews with tribal community members and elders. For more information on the cookbook visit www.glifwc.org. U.S. Steel discharge into the St. Louis River in 1967. photo reprinted from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Many wild plants are tasty nutritious You may want to add a few to your summer diet By Owen Maroney GLIFWC Community Dietitian Cattails provide many edible parts including the shoots and cobs and flour created from pollen. reprinted from nwplants.com Juneberries look and taste like blue- berries but have a hint of almond flavor. reprinted from smallfarms. cornell.edu The old U.S Steel Duluth Works Saint Louis Superfund Site encompasses a 640-acre area located southwest of downtownDuluthandisdirectly within view of Spirit Island. The company operated from 1915-1979 and produced coke steel iron products and also did wire rolling and milling. Less stringent regulations and abandonment have generated tangible environmental issues fornotjusttheFondduLacBand of Lake Superior Chippewa but also the surrounding townships. Currently there are envi- ronmental concerns in the area specificallyintheSt.LouisRiver and nearby shoreline. There are millions of cubic yards of PAH polycyclic aromatic hydrocar- bonscontaminatedsedimentsin theriverthatneedtoberemoved. Both mercury and PCB poly- chlorinated biphenyl levels are predicted to be present and high in the area as well. Mercury becomes ingested by various fish species and can then contaminate people that may consume the fish. Mercury affects the human nervous system and has detrimental impacts on human development. In a recent meeting tribal representatives showed deep concern for a pre- ferred alternative that was suggested as part of remediation efforts. The company proposes to build a confined disposal facility right along the river and dredge minimally to save money. Tribal representatives agreed that this might not be the most protective or acceptable manner for handling the situation especially given the proximity to Spirit Island. As Fond du Lac Band Natural Resources Manager Tom Howes explains Remediation of the U.S Steel site should be done in a way that is respectful of the historical cultural and ecological significance of the estuary as a whole. The small crescent shaped island to the upper right of the Superfund site is Spirit Island. MAZINAIGAN PAGE 8 SUMMER 2015