• MANOOMI Manoomin camps produce miijim re very good ricer in Indian Country knows the sure signs of wild ricing season. Trees along rivers and lakes display fall colors. Thearrivalofbirdsandotherwaterfowlare intricate biological indicators announcing that manoominikewi-giizis has arrived. In tribal communities around the western Great Lakes region, rice camps have always been a family- oriented activity. Families would spend weeks at the camp, sometimes setting up right on the lake. Everyone had a special job, even the little ones, who were needed todancethemanoominandloosenthehusksduringthis precious time of year. Both food (miijim) and medicine, wild rice has helped Anishinaabe people survive the lean winter months for centuries. Today, rice camp takes on a little different form. With families unable to spend weeks away, schools and youth programs are stepping in to help educate young Ojibwe people about the environment andAnishinaabe Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), through hands-onmanoominikewin.GLIFWCstaff—including biology,health,andoutdoorsskillsprofessionals—also attend camps in support of event planners, helping for- tify students with 21st Century know-how and timeless Anishinaabe TEK. Nagaajiwanaang (Fond du Lac) On an unseasonably cold and rainy Saturday in August, Fond du Lac’s 13 Moons program hosted a manoomin camp for both the community and the Min- nesota Master Naturalist program. Wrapped up in a warm sweater under canopy tents, wild rice processor Sam Greensky, Fond du Lac (FdL) elder, demonstrated the traditional method of processing manoomin (wild rice) from harvest to table. Event-goers soon warmed up as they took turns parching the rice on an open fire, dancing the rice the traditional way or by taking a turn threshing rice with the table top thresher, and finally whisking hulls away from rice grains in a traditional winnowing basket. Each step in the finishing process had a dedicated station with both the Ojibwemowin and English name. Later in the morning, the event moved inside an annex building of the Fond du Lac Tribal Community College Environmental Institute where everyone could dry off and learn about a variety of topics related to a healthy relationship with manoomin. FdL Natural Resources Wetland Specialist Shannon Kesner gave a presentation on wetland ecology, aquatic plant com- munities, and their impact on the growth of manoomin. 1854TreatyAuthority’sCulturalPreservationSpecialist MarneKaeskefollowedwithdetailedinformationonthe humanrelationship,bothpastandpresent,tomanoomin growth focusing on wild rice bed monitoring and man- agement.Theclosingprogram,ledbyGLIFWCdietary specialists, tied it all together with a presentation on the nutritional importance of manoomin which included a food sample and a hands-on demonstration of how to make wild rice flour. The day wrapped up with a warm lunch of wild rice soup and great conversation. —Owen Holly Maroney Zaka’aaganing (Mole Lake Sokaogon) Mole Lake Sokaogon staff, youth, and community volunteerspooledtogetherresourcestohosttheirannual manoomin camp September 16-17. Prior to the camp, youth completed a workshop where they assembled all of the necessary equipment and passed “Canoomin,” a canoesafetycourseledbyGLIFWCwardenstopromote safericinghabitsoutonthewater.Youthandcommunity members were armed and ready for the lake. Onopeningday,theforecastcalledforclear,sunny skies and 89 degrees.Youth and community volunteers loaded up each jiimaan (canoe) and took to the water. After a few hours, Mole Lake Vice Chair Arlyn Ackley, Jr. pulled back into shore. “This year the manoomin is looking really abundant compared to years prior. We are very blessed it all worked out for our youth to learn today,” he said. Day two in Mole Lake was all about passing along traditional ways for finishing wild rice. Today, many rice harvesters utilize mechanized methods of finishing manoomin, with hand-built machines that alleviate some of the grunt work and can process larger quantities more quickly. But hand finishing wild rice is importantculturalknowledgeandabondingexperience like no other, allowing harvesters to infuse love, songs, and good energy back into each grain. It provides the opportunity for the Ojibwe people to feed their most ancient, sacred food, as it has fed them. Traditionalfinishingmethodsincludeparchingthe rice in a large kettle over the fire, dancing (sometimes also called hulling or jigging) the rice in a pit, and win- nowing the rice with a birch bark basket. The final step is hand-cleaning any remaining hulls from the rice, one byone.Thisprocessremovesanyexcessmoisturefrom the rice and prepares it for storage, as well as cooking. A twelve-year-old young man was the first to try his hand at parching the rice. With Ackley beside him, Mole Lake Vice Chairman Arlyn Ackley, Jr. guides youth Ashenni McGeshick in parching manoomin. (P. Maday photo) Shelby Powless, Bad River, gathers manoomin at Pacwawong Lake. (CO Rasmussen photo) Under the direction of GLIFWC Officers, Fond du Lac members learned about canoeing and safely harvesting wild rice at a Canoomin course. (M. Kaske photo) MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 12