Excerpt from the Report: Manoomin (wild rice) is integral to the culture, livelihood, and identity of the Anishinaabe, a group of Indigenous peoples within Canada and the United States. Manoomin grows only in the clean waters of the Gichi-manidoo gitigaan (The Great Spirits Garden). The arrival of the Anishinaabe to the Great Lakes Basin was in fulfillment of the prophecy that guided their migration from the Atlantic Northeast westward toward the Great Lakes to where “food grows on the water.” In addition to the vital role of Manoomin in the lives of the Anishinaabe, it is also recognized as being ecologically important. Migrating and resident wildlife feed on Manoomin seeds in wild rice beds, which provide a nursery for many species of fish and serve as nesting and breeding habitats for many waterfowl and muskrat. Many species feed on the plant. Wild rice plants can also help stabilize shorelines (Tribal Wild Rice Task Force, 2018; David et al., 2019).
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: Integrating Scientific and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Excerpt from the Report: To understand how climate change might affect treaty resources, GLIFWC climate change staff are in the process of completing a climate change vulnerability assessment of over 60 beings/species of interest to GLIFWC’s member tribes across the Ceded Territories. This assessment is unique in that it seeks to integrate Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Scientific Ecological Knowledge (SEK) to examine the vulnerability of beings/species to climate change. TEK, also known as traditional knowledge or indigenous knowledge, is expressed orally, through languages, stories, songs, and laws. One way to view it is a knowledge system that reflects an intergenerational world view of interrelationships with the environment. This integration of TEK and SEK will make results of the assessment more useful to our member tribes, strengthen our understanding of how beings/species may respond to climate change, and help GLIFWC respond to climate change in accordance with the cultural values of its member tribes.
Expanding the Narrative of Tribal Health: The Effects of Wild Rice Quality Rule Changes on Tribal Health
Excerpt from the Report: Fond du Lac has experienced challenges in documenting and publicizing the impacts to community health, social cohesion, access to healthy food, equity, and other important issues related to the degradation of wild rice. The primary purpose of this HIA is to clearly and simply articulate the importance of manoomin to the health of the Ojibwe people. Our intent is to support the implementation and enforcement of broadly protective wild rice water quality regulations, and make additional recommendations for sustaining manoomin in Minnesota because of the fundamental importance of manoomin to tribal health.
Excerpt from the Report: In order to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the benefits wild rice provides for Minnesotans, this report aims to capture some of its economic value. While this report makes no attempt to assign monetary value to the cultural significance of manoomin – in unequivocal recognition that this value is far beyond economic measure – it does seek to make an economic case for protecting wild rice habitat. The cultural, health, ecological, and economic benefits of manoomin all depend on a healthy ecosystem that supports the plant’s growth and development. So, by making an economic case for this, we aim to ensure that all the benefits of manoomin – including those that are not economic – will be available to future generations.
Excerpt from the Report: The purpose of the TWRTF is to review existing literature, including literature and information based on tradition, culture, and science, that is available to inform the understanding of the impacts of sulfate or other sulfur compounds on habitat conditions on wild rice, identify information gaps, make recommendations on priorities for wild rice research, and prepare a report with recommendations in a similar fashion to that included in Executive Orders 18-08 and 18-09, providing a report to the Governor by December 15th, 2018.