Today was filled with trips to the main wild rice lakes on the reservation and the surrounding area. Today was the first day the team actually got to see how the wild rice grows and in what abundance in certain areas. We also witnessed how in many of these lakes floating mats of vegetation are creeping up from the outskirts of the lakes and taking over main wild rice habitats. The changing environment on these lakes is a major concern for the Ojibwe and because of this major restoration projects have been made in several areas to help preserve the wild rice. Tom Howes acted tour guide today and showed us Perch Lake, Rice Portage and the Great Rice Lake outside of the reservation.
The day then ended with a dinner of home cooked fry bread ,and the subject of all our learning today, wild rice. Witnessing the state of the wild rice in this area has surely helped us to better conceive how our overall mission here fits in and can be of great use.
Wild rice at it’s floating leaf stage. Perch Lake.