Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Climate Change Threatens the Ojibwe’s Wild Rice Harvest


It’s difficult to imagine a year without manoomin on the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin. That wild rice—“food that grows on the water”—is so important to the people there that they call their annual summer pow wow the Bad River Manoomin celebration. But for only the second time in memory, the manoomin harvest was cancelled on the reservation this summer. Myron Burns, Bad River tribal member, reports that there was simply no rice to harvest. “There was nothing but empty hulls,” he says. (The harvest was also cancelled in 2007 due to extremely low water levels in the rice sloughs, according to Erv Soulier, director of the Bad River Natural Resources Department. He notes, however, that 2008 was a “tremendous year. Hopefully we will see a repeat of that in 2013.”)

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