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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College Extension Presents Special Mahnoomin Project
by Mary Pelcher - SCTC Extension Coordinator
credits: all phohos courtesy of SCTC
The mahnoomin class visit the Nottawaseppi Tribe to learn about their special variety of mahnoomin.
Sprague gives a lesson among the mahnoomin.
The mahnoomin class enjoy a meal together at Tubbs Lake camp.

The fall season is upon us. As we move into the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year, it seems as if it is a time of new beginnings, new classes, children back in school.

These new beginnings include a special wild rice project funded by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College Extension Program.

SCTC Extension is funded by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) because SCTC is a land-grant college.

The Mahnoomin (wild rice) Project began in August when Instructor Lee Sprague began scouting the mahnoomin beds.

Mahnoomin is the “food that grows on the water.”

Mahnoomin has been a staple food of the Anishnaabeg for centuries. Long before the contact with non-natives, the Anishnaabeg were harvesting mahnooomin. There are many stories and lessons that are transmitted through the mahnoomin.

The SCTC Extension program is honored to be able to bring the knowledge of the food that grows on the water back to the Tribal community through a community education class.

Sprague has been involved with mahnoomin for many years. He has graciously offered to share his extensive knowledge with interested individuals through the class at the Tribal College.

The class meets Tuesday for lecture and discussion, with a hands-on lab.

The class also meets on Thursday for a field experience.

The mahnoomin class has visited a nearby lake several times to observe, and the harvest is in now in full swing.

All class participants receive the book “Wild Rice and the Ojibway People” by Thomas Vennum Jr.

The class will continue to meet on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. until the first week of December.

Anyone interested in dropping in to visit the class at any time is welcome. This is a free event open to all people.

A Mahnoomin Camp will be held at Seventh Generation on Oct. 8-10. All are welcome to attend and learn more about how to process mahnoomin.

For more information on how to be involved with the mahmoomin project, please contact Mary Pelcher at

Lee Sprage instructs Bonnie Ekdahl and Daisy Kostus how to make rice knockers.
Harvesting mahnoomin on Tubbs Lake with Kathy Hart and Clinton Pelcher.
A mahnoomin bundle.
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