Michigan Technological University joined Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in sponsoring two wild rice camps in Alberta, Michigan last August and September. GLIFWC staff attended both events, which were led by Lac Vieux Desert’s Roger LaBine and Scott Herron, a native professor from Ferris State University. At the August camp (above) campers carved manoominike implements from Upper Michigan cedar. LaBine says the next camp is tentatively planned for Labor Day weekend 2018. (OH Maroney photo) goershelpedtoparchriceoverpropaneburners,thresh, and winnow rice using the machines. No impurity too large or small escaped Duffy’s keen eye as he cleaned the rice. Following the demonstration utilizing modern equipment, Red Cliff members Shelly and Charlie Gordon walked event goers through each step of the traditional processing method. Everyone had the opportunity to try their hand at parching, dancing, and winnowing rice. During a lunch break, a prayer was offered for the food. Excited and hungry, everyone jumped in line for some of Joe Duffy’s famous fried whitefish. Jokes and laughter peppered the air as bits of conversation picked up and stories were shared. After lunch, the day concluded with broadcasting manoominintoFrogCreek.Staffandeventgoersagain donned lifejackets and clambered into jiimaanan with buckets of green rice, paddling out into the creek to find the area that appeared to be most suitable for the rice to grow. Once there, at just the right place, the rice was scattered into the water. The seeds settled into the creek bed below along with hope of harvests for generations to come. –Owen Holly Maroney Gakiiwe’onaning (Keweenaw Bay) AheavyafternoondownpourpromptedKeweenaw BayIndianCommunity’smanoomincampparticipants togathertheirchairsandhandplanersunderalargetent to share stories and laughter as they worked on fashioning their own rice knockers and parching paddles out of cedar. To help pass the time, GLIFWC Community Dietitian Owen Maroney helped keep campers engaged and their bellies full with an interactive talk on wild rice nutrition. Campers had the opportunity to sample the Wild Rice Berry Salad and ask questions about manoomin and health. The manoomin camp, held September 22-24 at the Ford Center in Alberta, MI, was sponsored jointly by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s Natural Resources Department, Ojibwa Community College, Michigan Technological Institute’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, and the Ford Center and Forest. The Ford Center provided the optimal setting for teaching, comradery and interaction as many partici- pants shared meals together in the cafeteria hall and even lodged or camped overnight at the site as well. Roger LaBine, Lac Vieux Desert elder and manoomin knowledge holder, led the day’s activities using his subtle humor to guide and instruct those on hand as the cedar shavings piles grew higher. Bright sunshine the following day afforded the chance for some to watch LaBine construct a gaandakii’iganaak(pushpole)withatraditionalmaple forked footing. Other participants headed off with KBIC Natural Resources staff to assist them in a seed- ing effort at nearby Net River Impoundment. Although participants did not have the chance to harvest their own rice this year, traditional finishing was demonstrated the last day of the camp with seed gathered and air dried earlier this season. LaBine described and demonstrated the entire process from fire parching to winnowing and cleaning the finished manoomin grains. In addition, an electric thresher machine was on hand to show the oft-mechanized steps that com- bine jigging and winnowing in what they called the “Manoominator!” Participants left the camp prepared for the next ricing season, equipped with their new rice knockers, a better understanding of manoomin in the Ojibwe culture, and an even greater appreciation for this special food from the Creator. —Lisa David In gratitude for manoomin and its many gifts A view from Upper Michigan By Valoree S. Gagnon, For Mazina’igan It began as an idea sparked in the mind of Lac Vieux Desert tribal member Roger LaBine last summer: “Do you think we could host a wild rice camp here this fall?” LaBine and I were sitting in the Ford Center dining hall in Alberta, Mich. with Scott Herron, Ferris State University faculty member, Evelyn Ravindran, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s Natural Resources Department manager, and Center Director Ken Vrana. We’d just finished cleanup of a two-day wild rice camp for area youth. “Of course we can,” Vrana chimes in. Knowing that manoomin (wild rice) will be ready for harvest in a few short weeks, LaBine points around our circle and says: “If we all work together, I think we can make this happen.” WildricecampcametogetherattheFordCenter&ForestSept.22-24,through the tremendous efforts of volunteers, donors, and a partnership team that was established in just two days: KBIC’s Natural Resources Department, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, Michigan Tech’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, and Ford Center & Forest, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, and our teachers, LaBine and Herron. More than 20 individuals—including staff, technicians, and college interns— got to work on the registration process, securing funds and in-kind donations, planningthemenu,plusinventoryingandcollectinghundredsoftools,tarps,drills, processing equipment, two dozen canoes, paddles, and life jackets from upper and lower Michigan and Wisconsin. Some went to Minnesota to bring back more than 1,000 pounds of manoomin to seed in local waters. Other volunteers collected forest materials. Michigan Tech forester Jim Schmierer gathered and transported several 15-foot hardwoods to Alberta. Alan and Canon Gagnon, alongside college interns, located and sawed more than 30 “forks.” Pam Nankervis of the US Forest Service helped to find the much needed giizhik(cedar),andHarryMironandCliffordNankerviseachdeliveredatruckload. These gifts led to the construction of more than 100 knocking sticks, parching paddles, and push poles by camp participants. I acknowledge manoomin—for being in the heart of my friend Roger, for inspiringourpartnershipandthehardworkofmany,forteachingustheimportance of gathering and harvesting together, and for reminding us to forge new friend- ships and to strengthen existing ones—with each other and our other-than-human relatives. For all these gifts, chi miigwech manoomin. Different manoomin processing methods demonstrated at camps (continued from page 13) Instructors Roger LaBine and Scott Herron demon- strate how to craft a push pole at manoomin camp. (L. David photo) MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 14 • MANOOMIN •