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

Climate Change and Other Factors Threaten Ojibwe Tribe Wild Rice Traditions


For the Ojibwe tribe living in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, traditions involve wild rice, which is now in sharp decline in the small lakes of reservations in part due to climate change. This causes fear and uncertainty in many tribal members.

University of Minnesota wild rice expert and hydrologist Crystal Ng says that it is difficult to determine the cause for the impairment of a lake. She is working closely with the tribe, and says that nobody currently has answers.

Wild rice thrives in shallow water in lakes, and to be able to germinate once spring comes, scientists say that it requires low temperatures and hard winter freezing. Unfortunately, according to scientists, Minnesota counts as among the quickest-warming US states. To add to the problem, oil pipeline construction is being planned in northern Minnesota, heart of north Minnesota's Ojibwe territory.


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