Lake Superior Manoomin Cultural and Ecosystem Characterization Study

Several of our tribal and community partners worked, with the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to write a report documenting the cultural and ecological importance of wild rice. The report Lake Superior Manoomin Cultural and Ecosystem Characterization Study, published in May 2020, uses a combined Habitat Equivalency Analysis methodology to profile changes in wild rice cultural and ecological functionality, over time, at seven case study sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, all located within the 1854 treaty-ceded Territory. 

Excerpts from the Report:

“Manoomin is a sacred symbol – it represents the Anishinaabe people’s journey, their relationship to the land, and their identity as a culture. For the Anishinaabe people, Manoomin is considered a sacred, animate, more-than-human being and not an inanimate resource. Manoomin accompanies all ceremonies, celebrations, feasts, funerals, and initiations as a food source and a spiritual presence.” (pg.3)

“Manoomin also plays an important role in maintaining ecosystem quality by sequestering nutrients,
enriching soils, and countering nutrient loading and its negative impacts such as algal growth and
turbidity…Manoomin is also an indicator of overall water quality and ecosystem health because it is highly sensitive to changes in water quality.” (pg.5)

“Perch Lake is located on the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation in Minnesota…Historical evidence suggests that Manoomin has been present at Perch Lake for over 2,000 years, with historical stands on approximately 392 acres.” (pg.20)

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