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From Waters to Table: The Story of the Great Lakes Whitefish

Whitefish, a pale, silvery and green-brown freshwater fish is Native to the Great Lakes Basin and a staple in the community, food, and culture of Native tribes surrounding the Great Lakes. The Anishinaabe people have held the whitefish in high regard since creation.

"Whitefish is one of the species that is a part of our creation story," explained Doug Craven, Natural Resources Director for Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa. "The animals were feeling pity for the Anishinaabe people who were having a hard time finding food to eat, so there was a gathering of the animals and fish. There was a circle. Each one went around and was asked who would help the Anishinaabe, what they could do to help the Anishinaabe through this time of need. Whitefish was one of the species that raised its hand and said that it would have pity on Anishinaabe and provide itself as a food source."

[Editor's Note: This article is co-publihsed with Great Lakes Now - Powered by Detroit PBS.]

In the upper peninsula, the "U.P." of Michigan, stands a Native owned and run restaurant that views the Soo Locks, and whose specialty is Whitefish.


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