• KID’S PAGE • Aaniin giinawaa (hello you)! Today is a good day to learn about asemaa (tobacco)! It’s the first thing we should use when we harvest and ask for help. Asemaa is used in our ceremonies all across Ojibwe country. We aren’t talking about store bought tobacco or cigarettes, we are talking about original asemaa which comes from the earth. Look below at the beautiful red plant called miskwaabiimizh or red osier dogwood. Some also call it red willow. Many communities harvest this plant from the first snowfall in biboon (winter) to the first thunder in ziigwan (spring). If you can get a hold of some leather and needle with sinew, follow the pattern below to sew a small pouch to hold your ase- maa. Be careful with the needle! After we put down asemaa and harvest miskwaabiimizh, we can scrape off the outer bark. It’s the inner bark we are after to makeoriginaltobacco.Theouterbarkcanbeusedformanyother types of medicine. Using a knife or a spoon, we can scrape away the inner bark and collect the pieces for our asemaa. Sometimes our elders will blend the inner bark with other dried plants or even tobacco leaves grown naturally. Our asemaa and prayers become stronger when we put that littleextraeffortintomakingouroriginaltobacco. —D.Jennings Onizhishin noongom da-nanda- gikenimang asemaa enaabaji’ind It’s great/swell for us to learn about the use of tobacco today Make your own asemaa pouch • Trace this pattern onto buckskin and and cut out two identical pieces. • Put the two pieces of your pouch together and sew the sides with a needle and sinew.(see below) • Fill the pouch with asemaa. PAGE 17 MAZINA’IGAN SPRING 2018 The inner bark of miskwaabiimizh (red osier dogwood) is thinly peeled and dried and many times mixed with other medicines. (P. Maday photo) Miskwaabiimizh (red osier dogwood) can be found all over the ceded territory. Please make sure to put down asemaa before harvesting. (D. Jennings photo) Fred Ackley of Sokaogon Mole Lake teaches youth about Anishinaabe traditional stories and asemaa at the Mole Lake winter camp. (D. Jennings photo)