Pavlovic, Bickford Participate in Manoomin Workshop and Field Day with Michigan Wild Rice Initiative
GLSC’s Noel Pavlovic (Chesterton, Indiana) and Wes Bickford (Ann Arbor, Michigan) attended the 2023 Manoonmin/Mnomen Workshop and Field Day, August 30-31, hosted by the Michigan Wild Rice Initiative (MWRI) Team and organized by the University of Michigan Water Center. The meeting occurred at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon, Michigan on the shore of Higgins Lake. The purpose of the meeting was for tribes and other interested parties to review the draft of the Tribal/State Manoomin Stewardship Plan and meet for the first time after the pandemic. Deliberations began with prayer, smudging of sage to bring positive thoughts to the deliberation and spreading of tobacco to thank the earth for the gift of this time together. After a presentation concerning Anishinaabe traditions and culture, we were split up into two groups. One group canoed on the Back Waters of the Muskegon River to see manoomin in its natural habitat and then learned wild rice harvesting traditions from Roger LaBine, elder from the Lac Vieux Band of Chippewa Indians. He has been responsible for reviving manoomin culture and traditions in Michigan. The other group learned the rice processing traditions and then took a pontoon boat ride to the middle of Houghton Lake, the largest inland lake in Michigan, to see the remnant wild rice population. The second day was spent reviewing the plan vision statement and reviewing five sections of the plan through facilitated breakouts. In attendance were tribal, state, university, and federal representatives (USGS, USFWS, and USDA-FS). Noel and Wes had opportunities to network with attendees and discuss ongoing and future research possibilities with Frank Zomer, Biologist with Bay Mills Indian Community and the tribal lead for MWRI. As representatives to the MWRI, Noel and Wes will have opportunities to assist in developing the tribal research agenda.
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