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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Aanji-nitaawigichigaadewin manoomin (Wild Rice Restoration)
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Nagaajiwanaang Aanji-nitaawigichigaadewin Manoomin
Closeup view of areas cut and reseeded 2015
Restoration site in relation to FDL

The Fond du Lac Natural Resources Program has begun a large manoomin (wild rice) restoration effort in Nagaajiwanaang (the lower St. Louis River Estuary). This area where the name of our Band is derived from, is where our ancestors riced for generations. Manoomin habitat was altered and neglected over the past 150 years as the Duluth Harbor was developed, industries polluted, the old growth forest was harvested, and hydropower dams were installed. As part of a cooperative effort between Minnesota DNR, Wisconsin DNR, MN Land Trust, 1854 Treaty Authority, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, work is underway to bring back approximately 275 acres of manoomin over the next 10 years.

Fond du Lac Natural Resources staff will again be using its aquatic plant harvester barge to remove competing perennial vegetation from shallow sheltered bay areas identified by the partner agencies. The plant removal is "site preparation" for reseeding that will take place this fall. The seed for this effort will be purchased by Fond du Lac Natural Resources staff from Fond du Lac Band members and other manoomin harvesters at several locations. This is an opportunity for Band members and their families to earn additional income while also being part of bringing back manoomin to Nagaajiwanaang. For this coming fall, approximately 253 acres will need to be reseeded (121 acres from 2015 plus 132 new acres). Recommendations for restoration call for a minimum of 50 pounds per acre. This means we need to acquire 12,650 pounds of seed.

In order to acquire this much seed and provide a diverse local mix of manoomin, our purchase locations will expand out into our Ceded Territories and beyond. Only 2500 pounds of the seed for this effort will come from Reservation lakes. We have identified several locations that we will monitor manoomin development over the summer. Locations under consideration are Sandy Flowage, Minnewawa Lake, Moosehorn River, Kettle Lake, and St. Louis River Headwaters (near Skibo, Minn.). We will buy manoomin much the same as is done during our Reservation harvest. A team of natural resources technicians will weigh your manoomin at the lake or river landing and issue you a receipt which you will then bring to the Resource Management offices for payment. We plan to offer harvesters $4/pound for their efforts up to the point where all needed seed is acquired.

Ginandodamawininim (I am asking you all) to consider being part of this effort. We welcome all Band members to contribute to this effort and we will be using our website, our Resource Management front desk, and social media to communicate the daily location of our purchasing team so that all Band members are informed.

If you have any questions please contact me at or (218) 878-7163.

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